Tag Archives: what’s right about youth ministry

A Beautiful Mess: What’s Right About Youth Ministry (FREE!)

hey, i have an idea: how about i run a big ol’ blog contest where the winner gets a FREE copy of my brand-new book, A Beautiful Mess: What’s Right About Youth Ministry?

but, here’s the catch: you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to enter, and everyone’s a winner!

i am quite pleased that the creative minds at simply youth ministry suggested we give away my book for two weeks (the downloadable versions). after these two weeks, it’ll cost you a few bucks, and you can also order a physical copy if you want. but for now, you can FREELY download a packet with a pdf, a .epub file for ipad, and a .mobi file for kindle.

how much does that rock? well, quite a bit of rockage, thank you very much.

here’s the skinny on the book: i was starting to sense a weariness in the youth workers i connect with, due to the barrage of “bad news” coming from people like me, as well as the research and books that have been telling us, in a sense, that we’re failing at our calling. i was stirred by a poignant moment i had at an event last year, where i felt i was complicating things, and stopped to try to encourage the good and faithful youth workers in that room (read that experience here, which shows up in the book also).

so, when SYM was asking me for book ideas, i suggested i write something about what’s going well in youth ministry.

at one point the book was called The Glass Half-Full — and that’s really the point of it. sure, there are some problems in youth ministry, and we can’t stick our heads in the sand. but there’s also lots of really wonderful stuff happening in churches all over the place. AND, the subtle notion that fixing what’s broken is completely within our power is, honestly, a bit arrogant and messiah-like.

so, that was the nexus of this baby. it’s not long — a quick read at about 10,000 words. easy, peasy.

here’s the back cover copy someone at SYM created (which summarizes the book very well):

When you think about the state of youth ministry today, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you cheer or fear? Is the glass half full or half empty? In this honest, frank, blunt examination, veteran youth worker Mark Oestreicher offers a fresh perspective on what’s working in youth ministry today—and discovers that perhaps things aren’t as broken as some of us might have thought.

Theologically and anecdotally, we can uncover plenty of encouraging signs in the realm of youth ministry, according to Oestreicher, whose youth ministry experience includes time as an in-the-trenches youth worker and as a publisher of youth ministry books and resources. A Beautiful Mess features insights on the issues and opportunities facing youth workers, including the trend toward longevity in ministry, the power of smaller churches, the work of the Holy Spirit, the rewards of authentic relational ministry, the need for integration instead of isolation, and the centrality of faith and humility.

This book will help you experience the freedom of your calling, rather than the stress of expectations. You’ll discover an abundance of reasons to remain optimistic, intentional, and faithful as you engage in the lives of today’s teenagers.

so, get to it. download your free copy here!