Top 12 Books in Student Ministry (part 1)

Top Books LogoHere in no particular order are 6 of the top 12 books that have been influential in my ministry development over the last decade. Within these books you will find much that is useful in most ministry contexts. But remember to be discerning about what you read, and make sure to read this post before picking up any of the books on this list. And remember that each author speaks with a different voice, and you should disagree at points. Wrestle with the things you disagree with. Just don’t discount the entire book because of one or two points that rub you the wrong way.

  • Youth Ministry 3.0 The most recent on this list, Marko sets out to explore the history of Youth Ministry up to this point, and theorizes about what the next steps might be for the church. Loads of questions and it forces you to think, with just enough guidance to help you implement some positive changes. For some of the pros and cons of the book, go here.
  • I Am Not, But I Know I Am An expansion on Louie Giglio‘s message by the same title, this book focuses on the need to take the focus of life off of ourselves, and put it back onto God. The freedom that we find in this is amazing, and just might change how you do ministry in your setting. Loads of great practical application.
  • The Divine ConspiracyDallas Willard explores what Christianity without the marketing and trappings of modern pop culture, self-help America could/should look like. Very academic, I have had to restart this book over a few times when I had to set it down for more than a few days. Definitely makes you think.
  • Your First Two Years in Youth MinistryDoug Fields‘ classic walks the newbie (or the grizzled vet) through a lot of the basics that everyone working in student ministry should know. Connecting with parents, leading volunteers, and more.
  • Ministry MutinyGreg Stier shares the basic premise for Dare2Share‘s Deep and Wide philosophy in the form of a parble. It definitely looks outside the boxes of both the traditional ministry guidebook and traditional ministry paradigms.
  • Crazy LoveFrancis Chan takes a look at the nature of love, and some of the extremes that the Gospel lived out calls us to observe. Definitely should make you wrestle with the nature of love in your own life and ministry.

That’s the first six. The rest will come tomorrow. Feel free to leave your thoughts until then…