Some of you might be interested in the books I require for my courses at Crown. I'll start by listing the primary text books I'm using next semester (Spring 2012) in the Youth & Family Ministry course. There are several other sources that are referenced, but these will serve as the framework for our students:
Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide… ~ by Reggie Joiner. Consider this: a typical children's or youth worker can only give a student 40 hours over the course of a year, but parents offer their kids about 3,000 annual hours of concentrated time. So here's a crazy idea, perhaps our churches should partner with parents to raise the next generation. The church, symbolized by the color yellow (illuminating Christ) and the family, symbolized by the color red (warmth and love) are both designed to work together to show kids who God is.
Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church ~ by Kenda Creasy Dean (Eerdmans, 2004). Students yearn to be a part of something worth pouring their lives into. Youth ministry is supposed to be about Jesus Christ… and yet there are churches that have rid faith of its radical connection to Jesus. As a result, they have rendered Christianity as impotent in the eyes of teenagers. Why should a student become willing "to die for" Christian teaching that isn't worth "living for"?
Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers ~ by Kara Powell, Brad Griffin and Cheryl Crawford (Zondervan, 2011). According to the authors, half of the students who are regularly engaged in a typical youth ministry at graduation will fail to stick with their faith in college. Reviewing how we engage students with the Gospel, with church, with justice, with generations, and more… Sticky Faith constructs an approach to ministry focused on equipping students with a faith that becomes inseparable with life.
- When God Shows Up: A History of Protestant Youth Ministry in America (Youth, Family, and Culture) ~ by Mark Senter III (fellow Cubs fan!)- I use this book as a primary reference for the history of Youth Ministry – exploring topics such as the American Sunday School Union (1824), Francis E. Clark (1881), Evelyn McClusky (1930s), Young Life & Youth for Christ, etc.
- Starting Right: Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry ~ edited by Kenda Creasy Dean, Chap Clark, and Dave Rahn – A great introductory source for articles related to theological and practical considerations of youth ministry.
- Note: Of course there are many other great foundational resources for youth work… and I'll list some more quality books for my other youth ministry classes. For this course, specifically, Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church by Jeff Baxter and Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto of Where We've Been, Where We Are & Where We Need to Go by Mark Oestreicher are also excellent, simple introductory texts. I've also strongly considered Global Youth Ministry: Reaching Adolescents Around the World (YS Academic) by David Livermore and Terry Linhart to present the myriad of approaches used throughout the world to equip the next generations.