This month’s article is about great resources for youth ministry. Things like books, online sources, technology, and helpful people to add to your network can enhance and strengthen a ministry. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I would encourage you to share what you’re using, what you connect with, and what you’ve found helpful. If there are comments made with additions to what’s here (or even reviews of what’s here), we may find it helpful to continue compiling this list on into the future. Check out some of these resources and let us know what’s on your list.
Instead of listing individual books, I’ve chosen to list authors. Each of these authors has a number of books and resources available.
- Andrew Root—Andy is a professor at Luther Seminary in St Paul, MN and teaches classes on youth ministry, young adults, family, church, and culture. He has a number of great books, including a series on “A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry.”
- Kenda Creasy Dean—Kenda is the Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. Kenda has a number of great books on youth ministry where she mixes the practical side with the analytical side very well.
- Mark Yaconelli—Mark co-founded and co-directs the Triptykos School of Compassion in Oregon. Mark has three books on youth ministry and a book of prayers. He has a contemplative approach to youth ministry, which offers a different perspective from many books on working with teenagers.
- Sticky Faith/Fuller Youth Institute—Written by a combination of Kara Powell, Chap Clark, and Brad Griffin, the Sticky Faith series offers truly practical approaches for making faith stick in and beyond youth ministry. They have everything from Bible study curriculum to books written specifically for youth workers.
- Duffy Robbins—Duffy is the Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Duffy is a popular speaker, workshop leader, and author. He has written literal textbooks on youth ministry, as well as books that offer practical approaches.
- Other authors that may interest you: Mark DeVries, Doug Fields, Mike Yaconelli
- This website works like Wikipedia, except it serves to compile games, ice breakers, activities, and resources for team building and teamwork.
- Improv Games
- Improv Games are fun and easy and can be used to teach a variety of lessons. I can’t vouch for everything on this site, but this page is an easy place to find some popular improv games explained and outlined.
- Looking for quality curriculum? Want something that follows the lectionary? What something that won’t have to be re-ordered again next month? Hoping for something that’s free? FaithElement does all of those things. Their curriculum is designed for youth, written by people you can trust, and is perfect for Sunday School or Bible study.
- HootSuite is a service that brings a lot of your social media sources into one central place. It allows you to connect Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, WordPress, and mixi. Now, you can input several posts at once, schedule them to upload automatically, and have your social networks work for you. There are other services out there that do this, as well, but the free version of HootSuite offers plenty of options and content.
- Youth Ministry Tracker
- Youth Ministry Tracker is an app for iOS devices. It allows youth to input their own information and take a selfie for the record. You can then use it to take attendance, send group messages to all or certain portions of your ministry, and track statistics over time. It costs $14.99 in the app store.
- Remind (formerly Remind101) is a free texting service designed for teachers. Youth Ministers can use it to stay in contact with youth, parents, and guardians in a way that’s safe and simple.
- Never use boring, linear powerpoints again. If you like to use powerpoint or keynote visuals in your lessons or sermons, check out Prezi. Prezi has several pricing tiers to fit your particular needs, but does offer free presentations. Prezi’s have made incorporating video, sound, and creativity into your presentation easier than ever. There is a slight learning curve the first few times you use it, but it’s well worth the mild frustration.
- Brian Foreman
- Brian has taken his years of youth ministry experience and turned them into a way to help us all think a little differently about youth and ministry. Brian does youth ministry organizational consulting, social media workshops, parent-teen communication conferences, and connecting community and faith leaders.
- CBF Youth Ministry Network
- Now, I understand that not everyone who reads this page is a part of a CBF church, so do look at your own denomination, fellowship, or grouping of similar churches to see if something like this is offered for you. The CBFYMN provides networking for youth ministers across the country, a central place for important resources, retreats for youth ministers, and inspiration to be better ministers of the gospel.