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Youth Ministry: Recommended Books and Articles

Spotlighted Books

If you have a favorite youth ministry book to share with others, please email details about it to webservant@rca.org.

The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry, by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster. Upper Room Books, Nashville TN, 1998
The Godbearing Life is all about pastoring young people and walking with them in their faith. We are on a journey in faith with young people, so we should include them in our walk with God and in our sacramental practices. But it is not an easy journey. We must be prepared for difficult situations, and young people who might not be interested in this God stuff. Youth pastors are just that--pastors--not program leaders. Key quote: "What is at stake in imagining ourselves Godbearers with youth is redefining ministry--youth ministry in particular--as a holy pursuit and not a service profession."

Liquid Church, by Pete Ward. Hendrickson, Peabody MA, 2002
Liquid Church is about imagining church in a different way. Ward suggests that we shift our thinking from a gathering of people that meets at one time in one place to taking a more flexible, liquid view of what is going on. Can we shift our thinking of church to a series of relationships and communications? Church might be something when we communicate Christ to one another, and church happens when people are motivated to do that communicating, and perhaps we don't need a weekly congregational meeting to have it. Is church a verb and not a noun? We need to connect church to the change in cultural sensibilities. Key quote: "Today's evangelists and youth ministers...are starting to realize that a relevant gospel also requires a relevant church."

Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church, Mark Senter III, editor. Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI, 2001
Four youth ministry academicians delineate their distinct philosophical and ecclesiological views regarding how youth ministry relates to the church at large--and leave a taste of what's profound and what's not in these four typologies: 1) Inclusive congregational (Malan Nel): What happens when a church thoroughly integrates its adolescents, making them full partners in every aspect of congregational life?, 2) Preparatory (Wesley Black): Why and how should a church consider its teenagers as disciples-in-training and its youth ministry a school of preparation for future participation in church life?, 3) Missional (Chap Clark): What does a church look like, whose youth ministry does not necessarily nurture "church kids" but is essentially evangelistic? Whose youths and youth workers are considered missionaries?, and 4) Strategic (Mark Senter): How feasible is it for a youth ministry to become a new church on its own--the youth pastor becoming the pastor, and the new church planted with the blessing of the mother church?

Other Youth Ministry Books and Articles

"Just What is Postmodernity and What Difference Does it Make to People of Faith?",by Nancy Tatom Ammerman. Growing Up Postmodern, Institute for Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1999: 11-20

Student Ministry for the 21st Century: Transforming Your Youth Group Into A Vital Student Ministry, by Kim Anderson. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1997

Introduction To Youth Ministry, by Wesley Black. B&H Publishing Group, 1998

Agenda for Youth Ministry: Cultural Themes in Faith and Church, Dean Borgman and Christine Cook, editors. Triangle, SPCK, London, 1998

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities, by Erik W. Carter, Ph.D. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.
This how-to book gives readers workable strategies and photocopiable forms for identifying “indicators of welcome,” encouraging community outreach, and gathering important information about the support needs of people with disabilities and their families.

Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church, by Kenda Creasy Dean.Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2004

Starting Right,edited by Kenda Creasy Dean, Chap Clark and Dave Rahn. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001

"Proclaiming Salvation: Youth Ministry for the Twenty-First Century Church," by Kenda Creasy Dean.Theology Today, January 2000

"Education as Commodity or Formation?", by Marva J. Dawn. Reformed Review 57, no. 1 (Autumn, 2003): 25-38

Growing In The Life Of Faith, Second Edition: Education And Christian Practices by Craig Dykstra. Geneva Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1999

Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry, by Doug Fields. Zondervan/Youth Specialties, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002

"What is a Theology of Youth Ministry?"by Andy Hickford.Christian Education Journal, vol. 16, no. 3 (Spring 1996): 39-51

Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Vintage Books, New York, New York, 2000

"The Spirituality of Education," by Ben Johnson. Reformed Review 57, no. 1 (Autumn, 2003): 39-52

Disorganized Religion : The Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults,edited by Sheryl A. Kujawa. Cowley Publications, Boston, Massachusetts, 1998

Choosing Church, by Carol E. Lytch.Geneva Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2004

"'Who Is Jesus Christ for Us Today?' as Asked by Young People Between Late Modernity and Postodernity",by Martin Marty. Growing Up Postmodern, Institute for Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1999: 21-36

A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey, by Brian McLaren.Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, California, 2001

Black and White Styles of Youth Ministry: Two Congregations in America, by William R. Myers.Pilgrim Press, 1991

Youth Ministry: An Inclusive Congregational Approach, by Malan Nel. Design Books, 2000

Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Barbara J. Newman. Faith Alive Christian Resources.
This unique resource will help your church to embrace people with autism into the full life of your congregation.

"Forgiveness", by Rodger Nishioka in Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens. Edited by Dorothy Bass. Upper Room Books, Nashville, Tennessee, 2001

Youth Ministry Management Tools, by Ginny Olson, Diane Elliot and Mike Work.Zondervan/Youth Specialties, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001

Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces: Putting God in Place, by Jon Pahl. Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003

"The Congregation as Educator", by Anabel Proffitt. Religious Education 92, Summer 1997: 294-415

New Directions for Youth Ministry, by Wayne Rice and Chap Clark and others. Group Publishing, Loveland, Colorado, 1998

Learning Disabilities and the Church: Including All God’s Kids in Your Education and Worship, by Cynthia Holder Rich and Martha Ross-Mockaitis. Faith Alive Christian Resources.
A new practical manual that helps churches better serve the needs of children and youth with unique learning needs.

A Theology of Christian Education, by Lawrence O. Richards. Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1979

"Reconceiving Youth Ministry", by Don C. Richterand Doug Magnuson and Michael Baizerman. Religious Education, vol. 93, no. 3 (Summer 1998): 340-357

"Shaping a Playground for Transcendence: Postmodern Youth Ministry as a Radical Challenge", by Bert Roebben. Religious Education, vol. 92, no. 3 (Summer 1997): 332-347

Sexuality: Your Sons and Daughters with Intellectual Disabilities, by Karin Melberg Schwier and David Hingsburger, Paul H. Brookes Publishers.

Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church, Mark Senter, general editor.Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001

Reaching a Generation for Christ: A Comprehensive Guide to Youth Ministry, edited by Mark Senter and Richard Dunn.Moody Publishers, 1997

Post-Modern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century Church, by Leonard Sweet. Broadman and Holman, Nashville, Tennessee, 2000

Caring Relationships: Helping People with Mental Impairments Understand God's Gift of Sexuality, by Ronald C. Vredeveld. Faith Alive Christian Resources.  
Provides Christian guidance in the area of sexuality for persons with cognitive impairments.

Youthwork and the Mission of God: Frameworks for Relational Outreach, by Pete Ward. Lynx, 1997

"Imitating Christ in a Postmodern World: Young Disciples Today", by William Willimon. Growing Up Postmodern, Institute for Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1999: 79-89

"Youth Ministry: A Contemplative Approach", by Mark Yaconelli. Christian Century 116, April 1999: 450-454

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