Probably the best youth ministry book I’ve read is Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries. I liked it so much that I created a study guide to help youth ministers and other church leaders take teams of people through the book. The ideas Mark presents on how to build a sustainable youth ministry have the potential to transform churches, ministries, and lives. As I write at the beginning of the Study Guide:
I began reading Sustainable Youth Ministry shortly after its initial release, and by the time I got to chapter 3, I realized this was too important a book to read alone. After hearing Mark stress the concept of “key stakeholders” over and over again in the book, I wanted to bring as many stakeholders with me in the journey of implementing the systems of sustainability.
So in a recent youth ministry setting, I took notes as I led a team of youth ministry volunteers through the book–summary points and key concepts from each chapter, Bible verses and prayers centered around the themes Mark presented, and discussion questions. As I prepared for these weekly volunteer meetings, I had two thoughts:
- This sure is time consuming! (but worth it)
- I’d love it if others could get the same payoff of coming to a meeting to lead folks through this book with questions and discussion points in hand… without having to do all the prep work!
That led to the creation of Sustainable Youth Ministry: The Study Guide. Sustainable Youth Ministry really is “too important a book to read alone.”
Mark’s book can be found here. The Study Guide (a downloadable PDF) is here. My good friend and former youth ministry partner Robbie Pruitt has written a review of the study guide over at youthworker.com, here.