Friday, September 12, 2008

Book Review: getting students to show up by Jonathan McKee

Do you want students to show up to your event or class? So does Jonathan McKee, that's why he wrote this book. McKee draws from his many years of in-the-trenches planning events as well as his many years of speaking at events in order to provide a very valuable resource for youth workers. You will read about successes, failures and the planning process that can help a failure become a success.

For most youth workers, there is not a week that goes by without thinking about a youth event. This part of youth ministry can be difficult and time-consuming. But it doesn't have to be any longer. McKee knows how to organize and implement a good outreach event and after reading this book you will too. What stands out in Getting Students to Show Up is that it is very practical. Each step of the process is covered, from the initial thought to the timing of the final moment.

Do you struggle with budgeting for an event? You will find a great example and some helpful tips in chapter 5. Do your events always seem to run long or do you struggle to fill the time? Chapter 6 helps you think through the entire night, including 25 questions to ask as you plan. Does your weekly outreach event seem to be becoming routine? In chapter 8, McKee helps you think through some unique elements and remember to keep the basics intact every week. In chapters 10 and 11, you will find some excellent advice on how to find the right speaker or band. If that is not enough, the last chapter is filled with 10 outreach programs and events that work.

So, whether you want to reach 10 or 10,000, this book can help you reach that goal. Getting Students to Show Up is a great addition to any youth worker's library. Next time you are planning an outreach event, make sure you have a copy nearby. I believe this is a book any youth worker (full-time, part-time, paid, or volunteer) can use to help benefit their ministry.

My advice (rating) – buy more than one and give out copies (5 out of 5)

(you can also find this review over at YMX)


  1. Great review. I'm going to put it on my short wish list.

  2. @ben thanks. stay tuned to this blog over the next week or so b/c you might just have a chance to get a copy sooner than later...