Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry… They Just Don’t Know It Yet is a short book, but don’t let that fool you. It’s packed with information on recruiting, caring for, putting to work, and retaining adult volunteers in your student ministry. (Full disclosure: the author, Darren Sutton, is a friend of mine.)
The book is not a literary masterpiece, but it doesn’t need to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Darren writes with a conversational tone and sense of humor that are endearing (if a little corny) and draw the reader in quickly. It’s full of great information but is in no way dense. It’s a fast and easy read.
Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry… They Just Don’t Know It Yet, pretty much contains Darren’s entire philosophy on youth ministry volunteers. It’s the wisdom (he’d probably laugh at the use of this word!) of a man with more than 20 years in youth ministry, a man who loves students and loves the adults who love students. He also knows that the “lone ranger” mentality of so many in ministry – especially, it seems, youth pastors – may work in the short run, but over the longer term it wears the youth pastor down and creates a ministry with a single point of failure.
The book begins by showing you how to find volunteers in your church, and you may find them to be the most unexpected people. There are great tips for understanding who your volunteers are (their personalities and spiritual gifting) and how they can best function in your ministry. It provides information on training volunteers, and the final chapter is on releasing the volunteers in whom you’ve invested to lead, equipping them rather than just delegating.
Having seen Darren’s philosophy at work, I can tell you that what you’ll find in this book is a model that works. The book provides practical steps for implementing without trying to squeeze the reader’s ministry into Darren’s mold.
But be forewarned. This isn’t a step-by-step guide to overnight success. It takes time and investment on the part of the youth pastor, but it’s an investment in the Kingdom – in both students and adults – that will bring lasting returns.
You can purchase Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry… They Just Don’t Know It Yet here.
I received this book for free from LeaderTreks for the purpose of this review.