10 Awesome Resources For Your Student Ministry
1. Purpose Driven Student Ministry by Doug Fields
This is a great resource as you define who you are as a Student Ministry and what your mission is. It will help you take a closer look at what you do and why you do it. Taken from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, this book will increase your capacity and influence as a leader and as a ministry.
"My goal for this book is to coach you through a plan to build a healthy youth ministry that isn’t dependent on one great youth leader and won’t be destroyed when the youth worker leaves the church. It’s not a book on how to grow your youth ministry with six easy steps; it’s about identifying, establishing, and building health into your church’s youth ministry"
2. Sticky Faith by Kara Powell
How do we help students walk through life transitions while still holding on to their faith? What can do and teach right now that will stay with our students for years to come?
"When the seniors walk out of your ministry and head towards college, do you think they’ll be taking their faith along with them? What helps a teen stick with their faith after they’ve left the youth group? Here you’ll find compelling research and practical ideas to help your students develop a faith that sticks."
3. Your First Two Years In Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Whether you’re just starting out in Youth Ministry or you’ve been at it for a while, this is an invaluable resource. Fields' stories of wins and struggles in the first season of ministry are humorous and incredibly relatable. Sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air to just hear from someone else who understands what you’re going through.
“Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry isn’t about copying Doug Fields’ first two years; it’s about making good choices so you’ll survive and become a healthy youth worker for the long haul, no matter what your role - volunteer or lead youth worker “
4. Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
For most churches, Youth Ministry is vast and intimidating territory will little to no clear road map to guide them towards success. In this book, Devries gives practical, helpful advice on how to build a sustainable, thriving Youth Ministry.
“Very few kids step out of a youth ministry because the programs are lousy. Kids will actually forgive all kinds of programmatic mediocrity if they are certain they belong. Consider what most teenagers do on weekend nights. They don’t usually have brilliant, hypercreative plans (you’ve seen them meandering through Blockbuster for hours, looking for a movie to rent). They simply “hang out” with their friends. If our youth ministries don’t provide students with the opportunity to be with the kinds of friends they want, it won’t matter how spiritual, cutting-edge or outrageous our programs are; kids will not stick.”
5. Speaking To Teenagers by Doug Fields & Duffy Robbins
If you don't think that talking to students is different than talking to adults, you may be in the wrong profession. Students process what they hear and see around them differently than any other age group. In order to communicate successfully and effectively to students, you’re going to need a new game plan. If this is you, check out this awesome read by Student Ministry experts, Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins.
“No matter how impressive the structure, or how lengthy the preparation, or how unique the design, Christian communication—whether it’s a sermon, a talk, a Bible study, or a devotional—that doesn’t help people connect to God is a waste of time, effort, and opportunity. It’s a bridge to nowhere, and a bridge to nowhere is no bridge at all.”
6. Youth Ministry Management Tools 2.0 by Mike Work & Ginny Olson
Successful Youth Ministries are made of more than dodgeball, silly videos, and pizza.This books gets into the nitty gritty, management back end of Youth Ministry - budgets, background checks, release forms, etc. Pick up this book if you need some straight forward, practical advice for the administrative side of your ministry.
7. Help! I’m A Student Leader by Doug Fields
I was given this book as an 8th grader. It was the first Student Ministry book I ever read, and it marked my life and my leadership significantly. I have read it several times since then and even as an adult, I still discover and learn new things every time. This quick read will help you serve and equip your student leaders so that they can begin to lead and carry your mission forward more effectively.
“Knowing the purpose of each program will help you be less of a spectator and more of a leader who can leverage your peer relationship to help fulfill each program’s purpose."
8. Simply Strategic Volunteers by Tim Stevens & Tony Morgan
We all know ministry is essentially impossible without the help of volunteers, but even more so when your ministry involves pre-pubescent middle schoolers who will sprint circles around your auditorium for fun. Co-written by our very own Tim Stevens, this book is chock-full of incredibly practical, helpful advice as you interact with your volunteers.
9. Understanding Sexual Identity by Mark Yarhouse
Like it or not, the subject of sexuality and sexual orientation is becoming more and more prevalent in the world today. Your students are thinking about it, talking about it, wondering about it. They have friends who are struggling through thoughts about their sexuality or they themselves are struggling with their own sexuality. This book will equip you to approach this subject with your students honestly, gracefully, and compassionately.
“Teenagers who experience same-sex attraction or who are sorting out sexual-identity questions are navigating difficult terrain. You will be a better trail guide when you understand what they are dealing with and better grasp the unique developmental issues they are facing. You will bring more to your ministry when you learn how to establish an atmosphere of grace. You will be more effective when you learn to listen empathically.”
10. Lead Small by Reggie Joiner
Whether you’re developing a new small group strategy from scratch, helping your leaders develop, or refining your own leadership, this simple, fun read is one of best small group resources out there.
“That’s why, as a small group leader, your job goes beyond your scheduled meetings. It goes beyond bowling outings and Starbucks conversations. It goes beyond emailing parents. It’s about the example you are showing them through your own life.”
These are just a handful of the vast number of resources for Student Ministry leaders. We hope you find them helpful and encouraging for your Youth Ministry this year!
What are some ideas you have for your Student Ministry this week?
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