It seems that every book, blog post, and article I read is about the top 5 ways to be the best at something. But the sad reality is that if you are trying to study up on how to be the best, you can rest assured that you are not the best. What would happen to your ministry and more importantly to your soul, if you embraced the reality that you were simply average. Think of all that energy wasted on striving for something that you will never attain. Now, imagine if you died to that dream of being the best in the world and embraced the reality that you were simply the best youth worker your actual students know. In fact, the truth is, you are the only youth worker your students care about. Maybe together we can remind each other that we are called to love students and help them to love Jesus. In this book, I have put my 40 best / most helpful / favorite blogs all together in one really slick package.
I get that most youth workers want to have some impressive looking books to add gravitas to their book shelves. And in some sense this is the best and worst book for that. It is really impressive looking and tough, but at the same time says that you are striving to be average. But all ascetics aside, this has been a really fun project for me, and I think an incredibly helpful and hope-filled book for you. Whether you are a ministry veteran or just starting out, there is something for everyone to chew on and wrestle through.
This book is broken up into five sections:
- Discerning your call
- Discerning your context
- Discerning your students
- Discerning your issues
- Bonus Section: Nuts and Bolts
Discernment is the key to health and longevity in ministry!
I have said it before, but it is true: Youth ministry is the best / worst, easiest / hardest job on the planet! And it seems like the difference between these two polar extreems is where your head and heart are at. Discernment is the process of walking along this tight rope. We need input from those around us, from those who have gone before us, from the Word of God, and from the Holy Spirit. We need to listen and be reflective.
Ministry is not about gaining knowledge or collecting information, it is about spiritual and professional formation. And this book takes the 17+ years that I have been working out my calling and walk with Jesus and that application into student ministry.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, there won't be very much new, other than all these posts put in a format that is easy to read and a quick reference for you as you crank out ministry. You will also appreciate that the book form of my posts have actually been edited for grammar and spelling :)
I wanted to thank the AYM community for your support and encouragement over the past few years as I have worked out many of these issues. Your input, pushback, and different perspectives have deepened my own walk with Jesus and my call to student ministry. I look forward to continuing my call as a vocational student ministry pastor and working out my recent call as a writer.
May God continue to bless you in your ministry and care for students and may we together help us keep our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of faith, of ours' and of our students'.
PS: If you are interested in buying this book and upgrading your library, then click on the amazon link and have it by the end of the week! It will give you street cred and helps pay for my kid's braces! :)