Survey: What Are the Top 10 Books Every Youth Worker Should Read?

I've been asked to publish a list of the Top 10 books every Youth Worker should read. So I'm taking a survey and hope to publish the "official list" in about one week. Leave a comment with your opinion of how this top 10 list should read.

Survey: What are the Top 10 Books Every Youth Worker Should Read?

Please encourage youth workers you know to come here to comment, so that we'll have a good sampling for this survey.

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42 Responses to “Survey: What Are the Top 10 Books Every Youth Worker Should Read?”

  1. # Blogger Howden Matt Howden

    1. Getting Fired for the Glory of God - Mike Yaconelli
    2. Ministry mutiny - Greg Stier
    3. Hurt inside the world of today's teenagers - Chap Clark
    4.Youth Culture 101 - Walt Mueller
    5. Reverse Mentoring How young leaders can transform the church and why we should let them - Earl Creps
    6. Your first two years in youth ministry a personal and practical guide to starting right - Doug Fields
    7. What matters most when no is better than yes - Doug Fields
    8. Four views of youth ministry and the church - Mark H. Senter III, Wesley Black, Chap Clark, Malan Nel
    9. the be with factor mentoring students in everyday life - Bo Boshers & Judson Poling
    10. Student Ministry for the 21st Century - Bo Boshers with Kim Anderson  

  2. # Blogger pturner63

    Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries is a must.  

  3. # Anonymous Matt Bruns

    In no particular order:

    1. Youth Ministry 3.0 - Mark Oestreicher - I haven't even finished yet, but I can't put it down. Game changer.

    2. Visioneering - Andy Stanley - You gotta know your vision.

    3. Purpose Driven Youth Minisry - Doug Fields

    4. Radical Reformission - Mark Driscoll

    5. The Imitation of Christ - Thomas A Kempis

    6. Your First Two Years In Youth Minstry - Doug Fields

    7. Think Orange - Reggie Joiner

    8. Ordering Your Private World - Gordon MacDonald

    9. Christian Beliefs - Wayne Grudem

    10. Basic Bible Interpretation - Roy B. Zuck - Cause you gotta know how to teach the Word!  

  4. # Blogger Jasper

    1. The Bible
    2. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry
    4. Simple Student Ministry.
    5.The Seven Checkpoints
    6. Josh McDowell's Handbook on Counseling Youth
    7. My Utmost For His Highest
    8. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry
    9. Youth Ministry Management Tools
    10. Age of Opportunity  

  5. # Anonymous Robbie Pruitt

    1. The Bible
    2. The Knowledge of the Holy
    3. The Reason for God
    4. Counterfeit Gods
    5. The Pursuit of God
    6. Presence Centered Youth Ministry
    7. Mere Christianity
    8. Sustainable Youth Ministry
    9. Practicing Passion
    10. The Gospel According to Starbuck's

    I so wish that I could go on, but this is what was on the top of my head.

    In Jesus,

    Robbie Pruitt  

  6. # Blogger Terrace Crawford

    @ALL - Great suggestions. Please spread the word to other youth workers. I'd love for as many people to take the survey as possible.

    And... the Bible should be a given. =)


  7. # Anonymous Spencer Sweeting

    Not all youth ministry specific, but these 10 were the most influential in shaping myself as a leader & and saturating my ministry (in no particular order)

    1. Your First Two Years In Youth Ministry (Doug Fields)
    2. Getting Fired for the Glory of God (Mike Yaconelli)
    3. Seven Practices of Effective Ministry (Andy Stanley, Lane Jones & Reggie Joiner)
    4. More Than A Carpenter (Josh McDowell)
    5. Dance Children Dance (Jim Rayburn III)
    6. The Master Plan of Evangelism (Robert Coleman)
    7. What Matters Most (Doug Fields)
    8. The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell)
    9. Hurt (Chap Clark)
    10. Sustainable Youth Ministry (Mark DeVries)
    *11. An Arrow Pointing to Heaven (James Bryan Smith)  

  8. # Blogger Rob

    Most that I would suggest have already been mentioned. A couple that haven't...

    The Seven Checkpoints by Andy Stanley
    Helping the Struggling Adolescent: 36 common problems for youth pastors
    Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley (best book on preaching)
    Dateable: Are you? Are they? by Justin Lookadoo  

  9. # Anonymous Tom Pounder

    Good to Great by Jim Collin. A business book but made a huge impact on my ministry.  

  10. # Blogger brent

    Battle Cry for a Generation by Ron Luce (I Don't agree with all his theology, but this book has some very good Culture and Media Stats)

    Most of my top ten would echo the rest...  

  11. # Anonymous Josh Robinson

    The B-I-B-L-E

    1. 7 Checkpoints, Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know- Andy Stanley, Stuart Hall.
    2. First two years in YM - Doug Fields
    3. Speaking to Teenagers - Doug Fields, Duffy Robbins
    4. Shaping the Spiritual Life of Students: A Guide for Youth Workers, Pastors, Teachers & Campus Ministers - Richard Dunn.
    5. The CORE Realities of Youth Ministry: Nine Biblical Principles That Mark Healthy Youth Ministries - Mike Yacconelli
    6. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry - Doug Fields
    7. Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture - Walt Mueller.
    8. Radically Unchurched - Dr. Alvin Reid
    9. Beyond Belief to Convictions - Josh McDowell.
    10. SoulTalk - Larry Crabb.

    These are the top 10 for me personally and in ministry.

    Josh Robinson

  12. # Anonymous Anonymous

    The Bible
    Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli  

  13. # Anonymous Adam Reed

    1. The Bible
    2. Simple Student Ministry
    3. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry
    4. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry
    5. Youth Ministry 3.0
    6. Communicating for a Change
    7. Speaking to Teenagers
    8. Seven Practices of Effective Ministry
    9. A New Kind of Youth Ministry
    10. Middle School Ministry
    11. Controlled Chaos (renamed: Middle School MInistry Made Simple)  

  14. # Anonymous Brad Cooper

    1. The Bible
    2. Systematic Theology - Grudem
    3. Next Generation Leader - Stanley
    4. Dont Waste Your Life - Piper
    5. Purpose Driven YM - Fields
    6. Seven Practices of Effective Ministry - Stanley,Jones, Joiner
    7. Communicating For Change - Stanley
    8. Words to Winners of Souls - Bonar
    9. The Cost of Discipleship - Bonhoeffer
    10. Knowing God - Packer  

  15. # Anonymous Aaron Dininny

    1. Systematic Theology - Grudem OR A Theology for the Church - Akin; gotta have a theology book in there.
    2. First 2 Years in YM - Fields
    3. Radical - D. Platt; changed my student's way of thinking about American Christianity
    4. Communicating for Change - Stanley
    5. PDYM - Fields
    6. Knowing God - Packer
    7. Stuff Christians Like - Acuff; gotta have some humor for the "in church all their lives" students
    8. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible - Plummer; it's simple, but covers A LOT
    9. Contemplative Youth Ministry - Yaconelli
    10. The Gospel for Real Life - Bridges

    As you said the Bible is a given!  

  16. # Blogger Tim Liu

    Contemplative Youth Ministry - Mark Yaconelli  

  17. # Blogger Tim

    I would always vote for "Fruit That Will Last" by Tim Hawkins (the Aussie youth pastor, not the American comedian). But I am probably biased. I know the author well.  

  18. # Blogger Spencer

    It would be interesting to take the next step from this survey and actually build a list of which books listed would actually make up a somewhat definitive top 10.  

  19. # Blogger David

    The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
    Contemplative Youth Ministry by Yaconelli
    The Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields (though it is getting dated)
    The Seven Checkpoints by Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall
    Max Q by Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall  

  20. # Blogger Chuck Harrison

    1. The Bible (OK I had to say it.)
    2. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, Fields. Still one of the best.
    3. A Primer on Postmodernism, Grenz. A little scholarly, but important stuff.
    4. Messy Spirituality. Yaconelli.
    5. Leading from the Second Chair. Bonem and Patterson. How to outwit your pastor.
    6. Soul Searching, Christian Smith. Massive study on teens in the U.S>
    7. Digital Storytelling, Wilson and Moore. I wish they would update this one, but still very relevant.
    8. Stand Against the Wind by Erwin McManus, because it is short and has lots of pictures, and just to stretch your way of thinking. Or read An Unstoppable Force by Erwin which is like a theological look at the church.
    9. Blue Like Jazz or anything by Donald Miller, just because.
    10. Next Generation Leaders, Andy Stanley. Or something else by him since he is one of the few younger leaders actually writing about leadership.  

  21. # Blogger Kyle O'Hagan

    1-10 THE BIBLE

    We look to other books to show us how to do ministry, when we were given a guide. It's called Youth Ministry 1.0. We've gotten to far away from it. We never should have needed Youth Ministry 3.0, cause that means there was something wrong 1.0.  

  22. # Anonymous Anonymous

    No specific order (sorry most are repeats)

    1. Messy Spirituality - Yaconelli
    2. First 2 Years - Fields
    3. Student Ministry & the Supremacy of Christ - Richard Ross
    4. 1001 Ways to Reward Employees - Bob Nelson (Secular book, but great for working with volunteers)
    5. Leading from the Second Chair - Bonem, Patterson
    6. My Heart - Christ's Home - Munger
    7. Shoulder to Shoulder - Reiland
    8. ReTHiNK - Steve Wright
    9. Affair Proof Your Marriage - Staheli
    10. Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry - Burns/Devries  

  23. # Anonymous Mark Cox

    I'm not gonna post these in order because...well...I don't have time to prioritize them :) (and the bible is inferred).

    1. My First Two Years in Youth Ministry (Doug Fields)
    2. Seven Practices for Effective Ministry (Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, Stuart Hall)
    3. Courageous Leadership (Bill Hybels)
    4. Communicating For A Change (Andy Stanley)
    5. StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Tom Rath)
    6. Think Orange (Reggie Joiner)
    7. It (Craig Groeschel)
    8. Volunteer Revolution (Bill Hybels)
    9. Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Patrick Lencioni)
    10. The Barbarian Way (Erwin McManus)

    OK...I'll admit. There are a ton more books that I think are necessary. And I have no idea how to categorize them. My brain is on overload, so I'm quitting here :).  

  24. # Blogger Gman

    Home Top 10 Youth Ministry Philosophy Books

    1. "The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry And Its Radical Impact on the Church ". Mark Senter III. SP Publications. Inc., (Victor Books) Wheaton, Ill.1992.
    A good read that looks at where youth ministry has been to where it is headed.

    2. "Family Based Youth Ministry ". Mark DeVries. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., 1994.
    An insightful book of rethinking our youth ministry to focus and include the whole unit of the family.

    3. "The Godbearing Life. The Art of SoulTending For Youth Ministry ". Kendra Creasy Dean and Ron Foster. Upper Room Books, Nashville, 1998. A must book for any youthworker. It is seeing youth ministry more than a "To do" list but a pursuit after the heart of God.

    4. "Starting Right Thinking Theologically about Youth Ministry ". Edited by Kendra Creasy Dean, Chap Clark, and Dave Rahn. Zondervan, Grand Rapids. 2001.
    A long overdo academic book on youth ministry and thinking of why do youth Ministry? Good for both veterans and those just starting in this thing we call youth ministry.

    5. "Student Ministry for the 21st Century ". Bo Boshers with Kim Anderson. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1997.
    Bo Boshers gives insight to going beyound the youth group mentality to that of building a student ministry.

    6. "Nurturing the Soul of the Youth Worker ". Tim Smith. Group, Loveland, CO. 1999. A spiritual encouragement book that makes sure the youthworker is tending to his or her own soul as well as the students.

    7. "New Directions for Youth Ministry " by Wayne Rice, Chap Clark and
    others. Group, Loveland, Co. 1998. Gives framework to student ministry of different models of youth ministry including: Student-led cells, urban ministry, family based, mentoring, community cooperation, youth church, campus-based.

    8. "The Youth Worker's Handbook to Family Ministry ". Chap Clark Zondervan, Grand Rapids. 1997.
    A very practical insight of how to do Family Ministry in your church situation.

    9. "A Comprehensive Guide to Youth Ministry. Reaching A Generation For Chris t". Richard R. Dunn and Mark H. Senter III. General Editors. Moody Press, Chicago. 1997.
    A Encyclopedia of youth ministry. It gives different challenges and philosophy into this world we call youth ministry.

    10. "Postmodern Youth Ministry ". Tony Jones. Youth Specialities, (Zondervan) Grand Rapids. 2001. Tony Jones starts to help youthworkers give some framework on how we are to minister to our students in this postmodern worldview.

  25. # Blogger Kara Szyarto

    throw in Church Without Walls- Jim Petersen, and Celebration of Disciplines- Richard Foster. both are SOLID for anyone in ministry.  

  26. # Anonymous James Yates

    1.knowledge of the Holy-Tozer
    2.The release of the Spirit- watchman nee
    3.power through prayer-e.m. bounds
    4.pursuit of God-tozer the name of Jesus- henri nouwen
    6.growing in the prophetic-bickle
    7.celebration of disciplines-foster
    8 passion for Jesus- Bickle
    9 walk with me- perkins
    10. Knowing God- Packer  

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