Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry (The Gospel Coalition) [eBook]
A Practical Guide
Youth ministry is an essential part of most evangelical churches. And yet, there is a surprising lack of resources written specifically for youth workers focused on viewing all aspects of youth ministry through a gospel-focused lens. Featuring contributions from a host of experienced youth workers from a wide variety of churches, this how-to manual offers guidance related to every facet of youth ministry, from planning short-term mission trips to working with parents. Theologically rooted yet eminently practical, this handbook will equip youth leaders to effectively shepherd the young people under their care—training them to live faithfully in their homes, churches, and schools.
Cameron Cole (MA, Wake Forest University) serves as director of youth ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the chairman of Rooted, a ministry dedicated to fostering gospel-centered student ministry.
Jon Nielson (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as ministry director for Christian Union at Princeton Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as the college pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and as the director of training for the Charles Simeon Trust. He and his wife, Jeanne, have three daughters.
“Few of us take a trip without some kind of GPS device at our side. We need help navigating the route, the traffic, and the current road conditions, all in an effort to reach our final destination. In humble, authentic and truth-tested ways, Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry provides that level of clarity to those who are passionate about engaging, connecting, and discipling young people within the reach of their calling. With advice anchored in the timeless truth of God’s Word, Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry delivers light to the unlit roads of working with young people. It underscores the priority of this mission, while amplifying the impact that an effective student ministry can have within a church community. Filled with wisdom, light, hope, and guidance, the contributors point to a clear objective—making lifelong followers of Jesus the Christ.”
—Dan Wolgemuth, President/CEO, Youth for Christ
“This book is both theologically insightful and practical . . . and a book about youth ministry must be both. This is a commendable resource for youth pastors, volunteers, students in training, and search teams looking for a youth pastor.”
—Jay S. Thomas, Lead Pastor, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
“We see the lamentable statistics about younger people walking away from the church, despite every attempt over the last couple of generations either to turn up the cool factor or to fight the culture wars—or both. The contributors point to a better way. They have tested his gospel-centered approach and honed and refined it along the way. This book is not only a wake-up call, it is a practical guide for ministry to our younger brothers and sisters. I’ll be recommending this book far and wide.”
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life
“You are holding a very helpful, straight-to-the-point examination of the fundamental how-to’s in youth ministry. Covered here are the key areas of successful Christian youth leadership. Broad in scope but sharp in focus, this book will clearly help anyone who strives to have a ministry built on gold rather than straw.”
—Ken Moser, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry, Briercrest College and Seminary; author, Changing the World through Effective Youth Ministry
“The contributors to this volume have reflected deeply on the nature and power of the gospel. Drawing from their years of experience, they have given us theologically rich and practical reflections on youth ministry that aim to exalt Christ, strengthen the whole church, and equip teenagers for ministry.”
—Mary Willson , Associate Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition
“Gospel-centered youth ministry is the need of the hour. It’s rare to find a book that brings together expertise on everything from evangelism to small groups, from mission trips to social justice, but Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson have given us the perfect primer. I’m grateful for this book and look forward to putting it in front of my students!”
—Alvin L. Reid, Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, As You Go: Creating a Missional Culture of Gospel-Centered Students
“Here are 14 chapters written by 14 practitioners each with his or her own personality, writing style, and insight. Yet there is one focus—Jesus. For these writers, youth ministry is not only about teaching the teachings of Jesus, although that is important. Youth ministry is about making disciples—life-long learners personally following and growing in Jesus. These chapters are heart-felt and teen sensitive, with a profound respect for the gospel. That, plus a lot of practical insight make this a book worth having in your youth ministry library.”
—Terry Dittmer, National Director of Youth Ministry for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
“Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry is a substantial step in the right direction toward faithful discipleship of students. Not only should anyone in full time, part-time, or volunteer youth ministry purchase this book, but pastors and parents need to pick up a copy as well. Your church will be blessed by it.”
—John Perritt, Youth Director, Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, Ridgeland, Mississippi; author, Your Days Are Numbered
“Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson provide a clear vision of holistic ministry, encouraging and challenging readers to integrate the gospel as the center of their ministry with youth.”
—Brian H. Cosby, Pastor, Wayside Presbyterian Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee; author, Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture