Books. We love books! They are a wealth of information, and we all need to be constantly challenged and thinking about things relating to what we do. Here are a few of our top ones that we are reading at the moment.
What are young people looking for from church? Kenda Creasy Dean in her work 'Practicing Passion' argues that young people want to see a passionate and committed church as young people are 'living to find something worth dying for'. ISBN 0802847129. Available in the Resource Centre to borrow.
A complete contrast is 'Contemplative Youth Ministry' by Mark Yaconelli. In a dramatic plea to move away from programme driven youthwork, Mark challenges us to be still, and find out where God is at work. All we are called to do is stand alongside that work. For youthworkers who often simply seek that next great programme idea, this is a profound challenge. Are you ready? ISBN 0281057826
Something that a lot of churches struggle with is getting employment of their workers right. In response to this a Children’s adviser and a youth adviser wrote a book called Employing Youth and Children's Workers by Paul Godfrey and Nic Sheppard ISBN 97807 15140581 Published by Church House Publishing. We have been crying out for an up to date book that covers all the basics. Well it is now here! Written by two experienced Youth and Children's Work Advisers who struggled, as we did, to find the right resource, the book covers everything from the process of setting up a job correctly to recruitment and interviewing. At less than 100 pages, the book is brief, approachable, yet full of valuable insight and wisdom. If you get this book and put the lessons it contains into practice, many of the more common pitfalls that surround this area can be avoided. It is not just for those who already employ a worker, but also of course, for those who are just at the stage of thinking that the church might possibly do something at this stage. It will be the best money you invest for your future worker's benefit this year! Available to borrow in resources, but really you should get your own copy, so you can keep it to refer to in the future.
Want to know all the secrets to well set up youthwork that lasts? One key book that I often say sums up my job in a book is Building Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries. (ISBN 9780830833610). The book covers common traps that churches fall into, basics that we should all know but often fail to enact and goes on to describe how we can improve what we do. Coming out of the American Church there are occasional translation issues, but the book is practical, theological and full of a lot of sensible advice. Good for line managers, PCCs and youthworkers alike.
Our other influences include books by Pete Ward, Andrew Root and even Chap Clarke. But we can’t mention them all! If you have a suggestion to recommend to us, we would love to hear from you!
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