one of the bloggers to break onto the top 25 youth ministry blogs list this year, rachel blom, published a nice review of A Beautiful Mess on her blog: Youth Leader’s Academy. she posted this a long time ago, and i’ve had it sitting in my drafts folder for months. i’ve since gotten to know rachel in real-world, not only online world; and was so pleased to see her blog make the top 25 list this year. i encourage you to follow her blog. and, of course, i encourage you — as rachel clearly does — to pick up a copy (or 10) of A Beautiful Mess!
Mark Oestreicher (across the globe known as Marko) has written a very un-Marko-ish book. His usual style is to provoke, address, and criticize. In a loving manner, absolutely, but he’s usually on a crusade of some kind to point out what needs to change in youth ministry.
In this new book A beautiful mess he is on a crusade as well, but an entirely different one. He actually wants to encourage us youth leaders, that we’re doing an awesome job. He wants to show us what we’re doing right in youth ministry. How very, very encouraging for a change!
He shows a few trends he thinks are making youth ministry headed in the right direction, like theological reflection and the integration of teens instead of the isolation they often face in church and in their whole world.
Now Marko wouldn’t be Marko is he didn’t throw in some very sharp observations here and there like this one:
What we don’t need is to replace one technology (“programs are the answer!”) with another technology (“post-programming is the answer!”).
There’s, as always, food for thought in his writings, the kind you’ll need to chew on for a while.