Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Books I'm Digesting

The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean). Despite having one of the worst covers I've seen in recent youth ministry literature (seriously, it looks like the teens hate the theological turn in youth ministry), Root and Dean's collaboration is incredibly beneficial for those in the youth ministry world. Contending that youth ministry has swayed too far towards the practical and lacks theological reflection, Root and Dean propose a theological framework for understanding youth ministry, then apply the framework to various youth ministry practices (summer camp, missions trips, etc.). Both Root and Dean are some of the best thinkers/writers in the youth ministry world today, and I'd highly recommend this theologically enriching and challenging read.

Celebration of Discipline (Richard Foster). I'd heard a great deal about Foster's classic tome on spiritual disciplines, but had never read it myself. So when a good friend, Nate, shared about his desire to grow in his discipline and faith, I knew what we needed to do. We've been reading it slowly together, chapter by chapter, and attempting to practice each chapter for a week. If it goes longer than a week, that's great too. The point is to experiment and strive to be more disciplined in the ways we approach the Lord. So far, it's been a wonderful challenge, and deeply transforming for my own heart.

As For Me and My Crazy House (Brian Berry). Brian is a ministry friend I met in the first YMCP cohort. He's got a great deal of wisdom, and imparts a lot of it in his first book about balancing marriage, family, and ministry. Brian has three gifts he shares: 1) The best gift you can give your marriage is a healthy self, 2) The best gift you can give your family is a healthy marriage, and 3) The best gift you can give your community and ministry is a healthy family. He's a guy who lives and breathes this stuff, and while he's admittedly not perfect about it, this is a must-read book for anyone in youth ministry.

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