Youth ministry is easy, right?

Youth ministry is easy, right? Throw on some skinny jeans, order some pizza, play a Nooma video, and voilà! You’ve got a youth ministry!
 
Wait, no?  You’re saying it’s not that simple?? Hmmm, perhaps we should think this through a little more fully.  
 
The fact is, there’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to youth ministry resources. There are books with hip covers but no substance. There are PhD dissertations that would probably be helpful if they weren’t so darn esoteric. And then the blogs…dear Lord, there are so many blogs. A-N-Y-one can write a blog… and no, the irony of writing these words on a blog is not lost on me.  
 
Luckily, I’ve asked a group of youth ministry gurus for their best resource ideas, and I think it will help us all cut through the noise and find the kind of resources that lead our youth and our churches to something MUCH better.
 
BOOKS*
 
Woo by Morgan Schmidt
Accessible. Useful. And it’s called Woo, which is pretty great.
 
Amplifying Our Witness by Ben Conner
This is on youth ministry and developmental disability, except it’s actually about a WHOLE LOT more than that. I seem to remember doing a lot of crying when I read through it. That doesn’t mean you will… I’m not known for being the tough guy.  
 
Practicing Passion by Kenda Creasy Dean
She’s one of our own here in GNJ and, actually, pretty much anything by Dean will blow your mind.  I dare you to read the “Prelude: Parable of a Parent” without immediately calling your mom to say “thanks.” Beware… this ain’t light reading.  
 
The Adolescent Journey by Amy Jacober
Just a really good intro to youth ministry as good, thoughtful, practical theology.  
 
Anything by Henri Nouwen, in particular In the Name of Jesus and Life of the Beloved. Neither of those books are youth ministry oriented; they just speak so deeply to the pastoral identify struggles of YM that we couldn’t ignore them.  
 
 
Websites
 
ignitenj.org  – Because A) it’s really good, and B) I mean, we’re connectional, right??
 
kindredyouthministry.com – Led by Justin Forbes (Director of YM department at Flagler College) who has a brilliant mind for youth ministry, there are a ton of fantastic contributors including our own Zach Wooten and Wes Ellis who have written for this blog.  Seriously, check it out.  
 
iym.ptsem.edu – Directed by Abigail Rusert, who is annoyingly normal for someone so brilliant, the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary is a bottomless supply of input, ideas and resources from someone in our own backyard.  Plus, click here for info on the Princeton YM Forum this April.
 
ypulse.com – regular email update about marketing changes among millennials.  It’s boring until you start wondering why nobody comes to your events…then it’s interesting.  
 
umcyoungpeople.org – this is really helpful stuff, but here’s the BIG help, there’s some serious money available on this site!  So for those of us who have big plans and small budgets, scroll down to the bottom of the home page to click on “Grants and Scholarships” or just click here.  Every little bit helps…
 
*If you use Amazon Smile to order books and other goods, you can select a small portion of your purchase to go to A Future With Hope. After all, we are connectional…