My top 6 Youth Ministry books

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Darren over at Planet Telex has been asking Youth Ministers for their top six YM books to post up at his Digital Orthodoxy Site. I started to put together an e-mail but decided it was easier in a blog format, so here’s me:
contem.jpg Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli
This has only been out a month in the UK but is a brilliant critique of how we try and share faith with young people THEN a wonderful look at the contemplative and of a shared spiritual journey with young people.
Pip Wilsons Spectacular Stinking Rolling Magazine Book
A fantastic book of games, poetry and ‘stuff’ that encourages discussion, being real and the communicating of feelings. It’s about affirmation and Pips enthusiasm for us and young peole being ‘Beautiful Human Persons’ It’s a practical inspirational.
prac.jpg Practicing Passion by Kenda Creasy Dean
Another newish book but a great one. Kenda is a theologian who is clever, insightful and loves young people! Her thesis on young people being fuelled by passion and what that means for ministry is awesome. (I’d also have liketo include another of her books in the list, ‘Starting Right’ but am trying to confine myself to only one per author!
Relational Youthwork edited by Pete Ward
With contributions from Bob Mayo, Sam Adams, Steve Tilley and Peter Ball this was a really important book on looking at a theological understanding of youth ministry and a practical understanding of the role and outworking of relational/incarnational ministry.
dangsmall.jpg Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli
Mike was an inspiration to me when I was a teenager at Greenbelt and one of the formative people in the way I view youth work/youth ministry. The messy full on dangerous wonder of this book is an inspiration to me as a minister and to my ministry. The chapter headings alone are an adrenaline shot for my soul! The subtitle of ‘an adventure in childlike faith’ is spot on.
first2.jpg Your First Two years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Useful, funny and challenging. I wish it had been available when I started as a full time youth minister.
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Wanted to put other people in such as Donavan, Riddle, Newbiggin and Campolo but hey ho!
Please bung your list and a small review of each to Darren, I look forward to reading the results!

6 Replies to “My top 6 Youth Ministry books”

  1. great choices – am with you on dean, fields and yac’s wonder, and not yet read your first choice. I am still working on my other 3 as there are actually more good youth ministry books than I first realised!!!

  2. Hmm … to be honest I don’t think I can think of 6 “youth ministry” books. Three I would have would be dean’s practising passion (fantastic), ward’s youthwork and the mission of God, and cray’s postmodern culture and youth discipleship. I’m not sure I’d class yaconelli’s dangerous wonder as a YM book. I want to read mark yaconelli’s contemplative. Some of the best books I’ve read which have shaped my understanding of YM have not be “YM” books.

  3. Andy,
    Agree entirely about some of most inspiring/helpful books for YM are not about YM, that’s what made choosing so difficult ….. and why I had to put in ‘Dangerous Wonder’ anyway. I never was very good at these tests 🙂

  4. andy, feel free to jump out of the YM specific books, you might have found another book that helped you in YM that you wanted to add to your list as apart from a YM book, so add it 🙂

  5. ok then, well, a number of inter-related books – living the christian story by john colwell, improvisation by samuel wells and almost anything written by stanley hauerwas have shaped my understanding of YM in that it christian ethics is christian discipleship and that YM should be about developing habits and practices which enable young people to be shaped by the christian story, which I guess is what dean’s practising passion is trying to do as well.

  6. have frightened myself after returning to my bookshelf and realising that my YM books are not!! Thankfully I have been able to apply them that way. After reading Baker blog today it is good to know that a “YM” book could actually be applied the other way – so am about to order my copy of M.Yac’s new book

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