(This is part of a year long series of resource reviews I've been doing. 52 resources in 52 weeks. You can see all the reviews in one place here)
OVERALL - The Youth Ministry Survival Guide by Len Kageler, 198 pages, 2008 Zondervan -
How to thrive and last for the long haul.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? This is another in-depth look at what it means to be a youth minister, the good, the bad and the indifferent. These books are much less about teaching techniques, class room exercises, activities or retreat themes than they are about living out a calling to minister to young people. There are lots of folks who think it's the easiest job on the planet. "You get paid to go to camp" or "You get paid to play games". Well, yes but as we all know that's the least of what this ministry demands from us. Kageler takes a look at the impact on both the ministry, the "job" (you know that whole this is what they're paying you for stuff), individual health plus impact on family and marriage.
RESERVATIONS - This is really a book for folks in the professional ministry. Some of it translates for volunteers but I think the average volunteer leader/minister will find this book frustrating. I would certainly urge folks who are the primary youth minister in their congregation to read this book but keep in mind a fair part of it isn't aimed at you.
RECOMMENDATION This is another strong contender for "Books that should be given to new youth ministers at the start their careers". It's very sad and very disturbing to the development of young people to see the youth ministers making the same mistakes over and over again. This book lays out a very clear path to lead a beginner into a solid ministry and a veteran to help re-stoke the fire. It may not be the BEST youth minister book I've ever read but it certainly sits very close to the top of that list.