The following list is in no specific order, but these are books that we think you need to read as a Youth Pastor. Every Quarter we will update the reading lists, but these are the five books we recommend for any Youth Pastor, Youth Worker, and Youth Volunteer to read. Disclaimer: Not all books were written or published in 2017 or 2018, but are books we think will help you as a Pastor.
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans written by Josh Shipp:
I put this same book on the December’s must-read list for youth pastor’s, and I am adding it again this quarter. Reading this book through the lens of a Student Pastor and a Youth Worker will change the way you interact with students. I have found my conversation and leadership change because of reading The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans.
- Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris:
I know that Harris’ book takes us back to 2004, but over this past quarter, I have found myself opening up this book to reread to help me connect students back to the church. Teenagers within our student ministries bring different baggage, struggles, and demands of their life. I found that reading Stop Dating the Church helped me to write messages to help students fall in love with the church and see the purpose of the local church. I recommend reading through this book while writing a sermon series on the importance of student ministry and the local church.
- The Myth of Balance by Frank Bealer:
Let me say that my life and ministry have changed because of The Myth of Balance. As a Student Pastor or a Youth Worker, you need to read this quick read by Frank Bealer. I have made changes in my life because of the approach is given by Bealer towards balance, “When this, Then that.” Every Youth Pastor should read this and use the notes section to write your equation using the formula provided. Bealer offers a lot of great insight and contains an excellent notes section at the end of the book to work through some scenarios to work through ministry and life.
- Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins:
In 2007 Fields and Robbins put out what I believe to be one of the most helpful books to help Pastors, Student Pastors, Youth Workers, and Youth Volunteers speak to teenagers. I frequently pick up Speaking to Teenagers to help me remember some different tools to help me grow and become an effective speaker to students. Since reading this book three years ago, I now have a box that sits under my desk for me to put illustrations and sermon ideas in daily that I come across. I have found myself asking more questions to make sure that I am helping students understand the message and grow in their walk. I also would recommend making a three-year strategy that Fields and Robbins recommend. I have seen ministries become organized and strategic and lead to students becoming engaged in weekly messages.
- You Lost Me by David Kinnaman:
We are getting to the point of the year when our seniors begin to check out of ministry and school as they prepare for college. At the same time, a great our Juniors are beginning to experience the early taste of Senioritis. I think that Kinnaman’s is an excellent read for this time of the year to help Student Pastors to become strategic in keeping students from getting disconnected from the local church. I personally think the foundation begins in 7th grade, but I think reading You Lost Me will help Pastors equip teenagers to have a long lasting faith post high school and college graduation.
I am Currently Reading for June’s List: Remodeling Youth Ministry by Christopher Talbot.
DR. SCOTT TALLEY
Scott founded The Unwritten Pages in the summer of 2017. He currently serves as an Associate Pastor of Students at Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Durham, NC. Scott has been ministering to students for over 14+ years where he has had the privilege of sharing the gospel with students while helping them become Men and Women of God. Scott created The Unwritten Pages to help minister to Pastors, Youth Pastors, and Youth Workers. Scott is an experienced and energetic teacher/preacher of the Bible and enjoys sharing the gospel with everyone.