Nobody has ever accused me of being a deep thinker, and I'm surprisingly okay with that. I'm a pragmatist through and through....with all the good and bad that comes with it.
After over 20 years of hands-on youth ministry combined with undergraduate and graduate education in the field mixed with extensive reading and writing on the topic combined with attending and teaching countless seminars and workshops dealing with youth ministry, I think I have come up with my own manifesto, of sorts (shout out to Marko...).
This is in no way meant to be a response to Marko's book or to Chap Clark's books or to Doug Fields' books or to Kara Powell's books or to Mark Yaconelli's books or to my own books or to.....well you get the point...there are a LOT of youth ministry books with a lot of incredible, important, information about how we can be better at what we are called to do. I'm a proponent of being a life-long learner, and I think the more reading and training and sharpening we can get, the better we become. But with all that also comes a muddying of the waters. Some of the most basic principles in youth ministry can get lost. So sometimes a little simple, pragmatic thinking can be a good thing.
So, my pragmatic youth ministry manifesto is this: Build a team of caring, Christ-following adults who like teenagers, then do whatever seems to work best in your unique setting to assist those adults in building relationships with your students as they walk with them through their journey of faith.
That would be a pretty short book, I suppose.
Youth Ministry 3.0 Update: Apparently the book won't be available on Amazon or through any other online or physical vendor until early next year. So until then the only place to get a copy is at one of the two remaining NYWC conventions. If you aren't going, find somebody who is and ask them to buy you a copy.