ok — i need to start with a few disclaimers:
1. mark riddle is a friend of mine who i care about quite a bit.
2. this book was published by ys. i don’t write too many blog book reviews of ys books, because i try to keep this blog from being too overly marketing-y. i DO publish them from time to time, though, and felt this one was worth it, since i actually read the entire book!
3. this book releases in january! (sorry, you’ll have to wait!)
i’d known this book was in development for a couple years (since i know mark, and since i know our publishing schedule), and i’ve been looking forward to it. i’m not sure how well it will sell, since it’s a book — primarily — for church leaders (senior pastors and such) who oversee youth pastors, or are looking to hire one; but, i think it’s one of those books that just had to be written. and, this is clear: this is a book that will be immensely helpful to those who read it. i expect we’ll be hearing thanks from senior pastors and churches who find this book helps them break the cycle of bad assumptions, bad hiring processes, and bad hires. i think this book will help senior pastors and youth pastors get along better. and i think it will help youth pastors make better choices in “accepting a call” to a church.
mark writes clearly, in short chapters. the book can be read straight through, or in a non-linear fashion. depending on who’s doing the reading, you might want to choose our own adventure through these ideas. there’s good humor, and lots of stories, and a wad of helpful tools, ideas, suggested practices and processes.
so, here’s my suggestion: pastors who oversee youth workers really need to read this book. and youth pastor should pick up a couple copies of this book (honestly, i’m not just trying to sell it — i really do believe this) and ask your supervisor if they’d be willing to read it concurrently with you, and meet to talk through the ideas. it could do wonders for opening lines of communication on crucial issues about effective youth ministry, as it pertains to the role of a youth pastor.
thanks, mark, for working so hard to give us such a helpful resource.
here’s the website for mark’s consulting organization, the riddle group.
and here’s mark’s blog (which i have in my bloglines, and read daily).