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What I Wish I Knew When I Started Youth Ministry

February 27, 2015

In 2005 Youthspecialties published a small book full of big ideas titled, WHAT I WISH I KNEW WHEN I STARTED IN YOUTH MINISTRY: Stupid Misconceptions, and Caring for your Own Soul while Ministering to Othersby Mike Yaconelli and Mark Oestreicher. In the 10 years since its publication these 85 pages have if anything gained in relevance. For the past several weeks I have used the genius of this book as the introduction to my Youth Program Administration class. These word read out-loud, heard, reflected upon and then discussed had a power at least equal to reading them individually from the printed page. Pages 9-50 are all “MISCONCEPTIONS” from Marco most 2 or 3 pages in length, while all are important p. 16-17 “I should Identify and Confront All the Sin in Student Lives” really resigned with me and my students.
Mikes comments on soul care in youth ministry represented in short pithy bursts the best of his comments on the subject over the years before his home-going. What stand out are pages 75-80 containing his recommended reading list. I have already added some of these classics to my current reading pile. I you are an old hand at youth work get a copy of this book and be reminded what it was that you loved about your calling and then share it with some younger youth workers. For those of you starting out the truth in these pages can make all the difference in your ministry-read and reread this book and make it a friend and companion throughout your ministry journey.

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