Friday, December 18, 2009

Best of '09: Youth Ministry Books

The year 2009 A.D. is almost over. The past 12 months have brought with them many new things; some good, some bad, and some not worth mentioning. I would like to take some time and highlight some of my favorite parts of 2009. I will call this list the "best of '09" - which simply means that, in my opinion, these are the best items in a certain category. I fully expect you to disagree with some of my choices or to be upset I did not add other items to the list. If you feel this way, please add your "best of '09" ideas in the comments.

The second list will be youth ministry books. These are the best youth ministry related books I read this year. They may not all be new in 2009, but this was the year I got around to reading them. This list is in no particular order and will not include every good book I read this year, just a list of my top reads - the ones I found most helpful.

Youth Ministry 3.0
by Mark Oestreicher - I picked up this book in 2008, but did not actually get around to reading it until early this year. Oestreicher writes about many of the struggles and thoughts felt by many youth workers around the country. Whether you agree with everything int he book (and you won't), you need to read it and be challenged to see youth ministry from a different angle. Here is my review of Youth Ministry 3.0.

Help! I'm a Frustrated Youth Worker!
by Steve Case - This book is small and easy to read. Most youth workers will relate to the frustrations Case writes about. I recommend reading this book, even if you only need a reminder that your situation is not "that bad." Here is my review of Help! I'm a Frustrated Youth Worker.

Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries - Every youth worker wants to be part of a youth ministry that is sustainable. Devries knows a few things about sustainable youth ministries - he has been working with youth ministries across the country for years. This book is a must read for anyone working in a youth ministry of any size and shape. Here is my review of Sustainable Youth Ministry.

Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins - Doug and Duffy have written a great resource for anyone who speaks to teenagers. This book is packed with useful information and helpful tips. Here is my review of Speaking to Teenagers.

99 Thoughts for Youth Workers by Josh Griffin - This little book has a lot of great thoughts inside. Josh collected his thoughts on youth ministry, which were written in journals, on napkins (I'm guessing a few of these were once on a napkin), and from his blog. This is especially useful if you are new to youth ministry or feel like you are stuck in a rut. Here is my review of 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers.

The New Breed by Jonathan McKee and Thomas McKee - I'm actually only 2/3 of the way through this book, but so far I think it is a great read. Every youth worker, who works with volunteers, needs to read this book and apply the principles.

As you can see, I spent a lot of time this year catching up on youth ministry books that I had not read. Expect to see some 2009 releases in the 2010 "best of" list, as I am sure I'll get them read by then.

What youth ministry books would you add to this list? (or what books should I add to my 2010 reading list?)

Other posts in this series:
Best of '09 - Music
Best of '09 - Youth Ministry Books
Best of '09 - Non-Ministry Books
Best of '09 - Websites used
Best of '09 - Blog posts
Best of '09 - Web Apps
Best of '09 - Ministry Moments
Best of '09 - Random Favorites


  1. Good list! I would add Middle School Ministry by Oestricher and Rubin. First of its kind in youth ministry. Though other Middle School ministry books have been written, this is the first that delves into it in text book style.

  2. Nikomas - That was one book I wanted to read this year, but didn't. I'm hoping to pick it up and read it "soon". Have you finished it?

  3. I did. It was good. A good mix of YM3.0, Controlled Chaos, PDYM, and others....all geared towards Middle School ministry. Long read, but good.