Must Read Books

Last summer I got to hang out with Mark Oestreicher for a week in Auckland. Marko heads up the Youth Cartel, and was president of Youth Specialties for 8 years. Here is Marko’s list of must read youth ministry books.


 Almost Christian,

Kenda Dean. difficult and long read, but definitely one of the most important YM books in the last 5 years.


 Revisiting Relational Ministry,

Andrew Root. calls into question how we’ve “used” relationships as a manipulative tool, and suggests a new way based from a theological framework.


 As for Me and My (Crazy) House,

Brian Berry. fantastic help for thinking about how to balance family with the demands of youth ministry.


 Leading Up,

Joel Mayward. about having influence in your church when you’re not in a position of power. allegory from the perspective of a new JH pastor.


 Masterpiece: the art of discipling youth,

Paul Martin. frames discipleship as a process of helping to uncover teenagers’ unique selves, rather than a program of content.


 Woo: Awakening Teenagers’ Desire to Follow in the Way of Jesus,

Morgan Schmidt. you could call this “desire-based youth ministry.”



Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World,

Brock Morgan. what YM look like when teenagers are truly postmodern. EXCELLENT and provocative.


Redefining the Role of the Youth Worker: a manifesto of integration,

April Diaz. the subtitle says it all. short and to the point.


 Sticky Faith, youth leader edition,

Kara Powell and Brad Griffin. research-based implications of faith that lasts beyond youth group (and teenage years).



 A Tale of Two Youth Workers,

Eric Venable. a short allegory about processing teenage doubt.


 Hurt 2.0 (the revised edition),

Chap Clark. understanding the hurt and pain of today’s teenagers, with a look at their isolation.

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