My friend, Brian Seidel recently finished his book, Flimsy Ministry. Brian is a gifted and brilliant youth worker. He has spent the last decade caring for and training other youth workers in both national and regional settings. He has used his wisdom and experience to put together a really challenging and helpful read. Flimsy Ministry: Is the foundation of your Youth Ministry on Rock or Sand? is the name of his book, and that is the fundamental question he puts in front of his readers. As a youth worker, this is actually one of my main questions that I secretly wrestle with and am often too scared to even address.
Brian not only addresses this question, but actually gives you the tools and questions to examine the what and why we do ministry. Brian has an incredibly high view of scripture and starts and ends with a biblical foundation. I have not read so much scripture in a book outside of the Bible in a while, if ever. The use of scripture is brutal because I often found myself wanting to push back. But instead of simply disagreeing with Brian, I had to wrestle through the scripture first, then disagree with Brian :)
What I appreciated most about this book is that Brian's heart for Jesus, the church, and the most amazing calling of all time, youth ministry, is crystal clear. He is not bitter or pissed. He doesn't have an axe to grind or want to deconstruct. This is actually one of the few books on student ministry that gives you the tools and the plans to solidify your foundation and build a lasting biblical ministry.
I am thankful for Brian and for his leadership in student ministry. I am thankful for someone holding our feet to the fire. I am thankful for the challenge to honestly examine why I do what I do. So much of what I do is intuitive, gifts based, and culturally sensitive. But is what I do also rooted in scripture? This is the question I was forced to deal with.
We always need to be learners, teachable, humble, and open to encouragement and rebuke. I pray that you will be more encouraged than rebuked. I found myself more rebuked. :)
Brian has been generous enough to offer his book for free on the day that this gets published. So click on the link and download it for free. How good is that? If it is no longer free, his book is still the cost of a burrito :) And this food will be more satisfying and last a bit longer. Also, you should check out his blog, myendofthedeal.com.
Thanks Brian for your hard work and your voice in the student ministry world and for your friendship! May God continue to bless you and your family. (When are you having me up so I can wake board with you?) Hahaha...