Over the last 24 hours I have been reading a book about youth ministry by Tim Hawkins.
Tim has been involved in youth ministry for years here in Australia and this is his second book on the topic. His first book, “Fruit That Will Last” was written in the 90’s and is the foundation and strategy of his youth ministry. It’s a good book and I’d recommend it to anyone in youth ministry.
His second book, published in 2002, is called “Leaders Who Will Last.” It is this book that I have just finished and again I would recommend it. However, this book is not only to those in youth ministry on a paid basis but for also anyone involved in a voluntary capacity.
“Leaders Who Will Last” is grounded in scripture and gives some good advice for youth leaders. There are three main sections of the book – one on the leader’s vision, one on the leader’s character, one on the leader’s skills.
It is under visioning that the main biblical foundations are set. The issues of calling, shepherding and servant-hood are described and rightly portrayed as important. The main characteristics of a leader are to be faithful, reliable and a follower of those in higher authority than you (i.e. senior pastor, youth pastor, lead leader etc). In terms of skill, the main things to focus on are to be a Bible teacher, at least think about leading a small group and Tim also describes, in 16 points, what a youth worker can be. i.e. a prayer, an organizer etc.
Overall, I thought the book was good. An area of improvement would be a deeper theological basis for youth leadership and youth ministry in general. While a Biblical theology of youth ministry is not what this book was on about I am continuing to search for such a book. I haven’t found one, even in all the youth ministry books I have out at my college’s library. Maybe I should just come up with my own!
Anyway, back to the book. Much of it applied directly to me, particularly the issue of getting right with God and staying right. I must set my heart on His things and His agenda. This book pushes me to pray more, I don’t pray nearly enough for my leaders, my peers, my kids, my church even. And finally, it is a book that I will be recommending to my fellow youth leaders. There is much information in this book that is helpful to any leadership position, but specifically to those in youth ministry.