Friday, August 12, 2011

The Core Realities of Youth Ministry


I'm going back for this book review. In 2003 Mike Yaconelli wrote a book called The Core Realities of Youth Ministry. I had just come from a National Youth Workers Convention, where Mike hosted. I bought a copy of this book, as well as his Dangerous Wonder. I ate them both up and still think they are great.

That's why I was greatly discouraged when I went this last spring to find my copy of The Core Realities. I looked at home. I looked at my office. I went around accusing people of stealing it. Nothing. It was nowhere.

Figuring I would find my original once I purchased a new copy, I took the plunge. I bought it because my original copy had my notes written in the sides. I bought it because I had used it 7 years ago to add to my teaching of core values and I wanted to revisit that topic. (That's not to say I haven't talked about core values in 7 years....)

I believe Mike has written a powerful gem that every youth pastor should be required to read. I think that much of it is translatable directly to teaching with teens. The core realities are veracity, authenticity, audacity, humility, diversity, sanctuary, intimacy, mystery and creativity. This makes for a very diverse summer of discussion with any youth group.

Mike writes each chapter in a very relational way, as he shares part of his story. He also shares the space with many other youth ministry voices as they chime in with sidebars.

I highly recommend this book. It's older, so a inexpensive copy can be found quite easily. But if anyone has seen my original copy, let me know. I'm still looking for it.

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