The Youth Ministry Survival Guide Review

Posted: August 13, 2009 in Development, Youth Ministry
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I have spent the last few weeks reading through the book, “The Youth Ministry Survival Guide Guide: How to Thrive and Last For the Long Haul”, by Len Kageler. Right off the bat, this book is great for the ‘newbie’ youth worker and also for the veteran. I put myself in the middle. I’ve been doing full-time youth ministry for 6 years. Some of the things I read about in this book I learned the hard way…which I’m sure many veteran youth workers have done…learning the hard way. For those of you beginning in youth ministry, this book can have the potential to live up to it’s title…if you apply what Ken teaches.

Here’s my brief take-a- way from the book without giving away much of what he teaches.

1) Know ahead of time where you will have conflict. Whether that could be the relationship between you and the sr. pastor, church staff, parents, and, yes, students. Develop a plan to build credibility with them.

2)Time management. If you have a family, that should be your first ministry! If your home life is failing…so will your ministry. If you are single, still keep boundaries…your future spouse will want some of that time. If you have your own kids…be their parent and be available to them. When people ask you do to things, know when to say, ‘No’.

3) Empowerment. Being a youth pastor in charge of the youth ministry, empower your volunteer staff. Hand off tasks and responsibilities. Make them feel useful. If you, as the lead youth worker, are doing everything…you are creating a recipie for burnout. You won’t last longer than a couple of years.

This book has reopened my eyes to some things I had forgotten over the years of doing ministry. Some of the stories I could easily relate to because I made similar mistakes. Since I did those mistakes, I agree with Ken’s steps to prevent them because I went through them and it works.

Here’s to the long haul in youth ministry!


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