Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    Book Review: Tim Schmoyer's "Life in Student Ministry"

    Tim Schmoyer's text Life in Student Ministry: Practical Conversations on Thriving in Youth Ministry is particularly helpful because of what it is not! 

    It is not a one-size fits all youth ministry tome that offers up a single approach that is supposed to work for every ministry.  Instead, Tim shares from his many trials and errors (and successes) in ministry with teens and then invites a whole host of other youth ministry voices (including yours truly)  into the conversation.  Some agree with Tim and others push back a little on his assumptions or offer a completely different point of view, hence the "conversational" part of the book. 

    The various chapters include topics such as
    "Are You Called to Be a Youth Minister?", "Starting a Youth Ministry," "Sharing God's Word with Teens," "Managing Money," and "Finding Adult Volunteers," to name a few. Each chapter offers both sound theology and practical advice from someone who clearly takes youth ministry seriously. Much of the content is apparently adapted from Tim's helpful blog, but having it all compiled and condensed into one short text makes it an excellent youth ministry tool to keep handy. In many ways, I think this book rivals the existing "go to" book for those who are just starting in youth ministry - Doug Field's Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry - as Tim's book is succinct and offers a variety of youth ministry voices.

    Finally, for our progressive Christian readers who may be wondering if this book is for them, let me say that Tim is decidedly more on the evangelical end of the scale than I am and I found the book thoughtful, insightful, and full of practical advice.  It's a quick read and organized in such a way (lots of lists!) that it would be easy to adapt Tim's ideas quickly to fit your own youth ministry setting.


    Jon said...

    Thanks, Brian. That is great insight and perspective. Much appreciated!

    Tim Schmoyer said...

    Not sure why this just popped up for me, but thanks for the review, Brian! I really appreciate it. Thanks for posting it on the amazon page, too. You da man! :)