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Growing Up – Biblical Youth Ministry in the Local Church

Author: Dave Fenton
Published By: Keswick Ministries and Authentic Media
Pages: 215
Price: £5.00
ISBN: 978 1 85078 807 2

Reviewed by Martin Hills.

This book has been written to be a reference book and a teaching aid to help those working in youth ministry within the local church. I was first attracted to read this book as I was about to embark on a training programme with a group of committed young Christians to help them explore how God might want to use them in the life of the church. I wanted to give them a book that would encourage, resource and equip them in this task.

However, on reading the book I found that it challenged me to think again about my ministry and how I structured the events and activities that we run. It challenged me to examine our programmes and our motivations and refocus my own thinking on youth ministry.

Fenton highlights what he considers to be the four key elements to a good and effective youth ministry as helping young people to become Christians, grow as Christians, live as Christians and to serve as Christians. He encourages the reader to examine the programmes that they run and identify how much time is given to these elements in their work.

Fenton also spends time looking at how we recruit workers in youth ministry: are we driven by a need to fill a hole or do we spend time looking for people with a passion and gifting to work in this area? He also gives a good structure for a recruitment policy and encourages the reader to spend time evaluating the team, reaffirming gifting, and encouraging.

The majority of the book is spent dealing with practical issues around understanding youth culture, creating the right kind of settings and opportunities where the four key elements can flourish, and some very practical ideas on teaching, the role of the Bible, small group dynamics and the role of the church in all of the above!

In the end I decided not to give the book to my young people, but I would use the book as a basis for some of my teaching and work with them. I will also use it as a reference to make sure I stay focused with my work.

I would encourage youth ministers of any level of experience to read this book. For the new minister, there is much good practice to be found to help you establish your ministry. For those longer in the tooth, there is much to be reminded of and encouraged. I hope that this book will continue to keep me focused and inspired for many years to come.

Martin Hills

Youth Minister - Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford

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You are reading Issue 56 of Ministry Today, published in November 2012.

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