books that have shaped my thinking on youth ministry

a long time ago, i posted my opinion of the top 10 books that shaped youth ministry. some of those were books i was passionate about, but others were, well, just influential books. i’ve been working on a post for a while now of youth ministry books that have influenced my own thinking. i planned on fleshing it out quite a bit more, and likely adding more books.

but i’m tired of it sitting in my drafts! so here you go, without commentary!


Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church
, by Kenda Creasy Dean

The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry
, by Kenda Creasy Dean

Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus, by Mark Yaconelli

Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers, by Chap Clark

The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries about the Teenage Brain Tell Us about Our Kids, by Barbara Strauch

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, by Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton

reviving ophelia, by mary pipher (and odd girl out, by rachel simmons)

how about you? what books have most shaped your thinking about youth ministry?

10 thoughts on “books that have shaped my thinking on youth ministry”

  1. 1. The Protestant Bible (God)
    2. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament (Greidanus)
    3. Lectures to My Students (Spurgeon)
    4. The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Piper)
    5. Confessions of a Reformission Reverend (Driscoll)
    6. Radical Reformission (Driscoll)
    7. The Ragamuffin Gospel (Manning)
    8. Hurt (Clark)
    9. Sickness Unto Death (Kierkegaard)

  2. just a little clarification, brian (and others). i have other posts started about books that have shaped my thinking in the areas of spiritual growth, leadership, and other categories. this is specifically books that have shaped my thinking about youth ministry — which is what i’m asking you also. brian, your list seems to be 9 books that have shaped your thinking in general. would you change it if they were only books that shaped your thinking about youth ministry?

  3. No particular order…

    1) Contemplative Youth Ministry – Yaconelli
    2) Any of Mueller’s Culture books (this counts as one though it is in reference to 5)
    3) Soul Searching – Scott (Tedious read- but if you’re mind isn’t racing and your heart isn’t hurting as a youth minister after you finish it… go be an education guy)
    4) ReThink – Wright
    5) The be with Factor – Boshers
    6) Practicing Passion – Dean
    7) Presence-Centered Youth Ministry – King (Talk about stirring the pot… oh that was already used!!!)
    8) Deep Ministry/Deep Justice – Clark/Powell (Yeah, I know it’s two)
    9) Hurt – Clark
    10) Simple Student Ministry – Geiger/Borton (Just came out and I read it cover to cover twice already. I know this is for those that have shaped my youth ministry thinking… but this one is reshaping.)
    11) YM 3.0 – Marko (for suck-up purposes only) But seriously it has had my head spinning for months, I just haven’t been able to wrap my arms around it enough to put anything to motion.

    OK… so I basically named 16 books… I’m not a rule follower. I’m a youth guy!!!

  4. I’m sure, like others, that there are several more, but here are some that have really shaped my thinking on youth ministry

    Contemplative Youth Ministry — Yaconelli
    Soul Searching — Smith
    Soul School — Stevens
    Five Cries of Youth (old one) – Strommen
    Real Teens: A Contemporary Snapshot of Youth Culture – Barna
    The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers – Hollingsworth

  5. 1. Feeding your forgotten soul – Paul Borthwick
    2. The ministry of nurture – Duffy Robbins
    3. Dangerous Wonder – Mike Yaconelli
    4. When Kumbaya is not enough – Dean Borgman (ed.)
    5. Chasing Francis – Ian Morgan Cron
    6. Messy Spirituality – Mike Yaconelli
    7. Presence-Centered Youth Ministry – Mike King
    8. More Ready than you realise – Brian McLaren
    9. Mend the gap – Jason Gardner
    10. Losers Club – Jeff Kinley

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