Recent Reads: Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World by Brock Morgan

Youth Ministry Post Christian World

What the book's about: A year into my career in youth ministry, I interviewed at a church. During that interview, I was asked about my feelings about the whole "postmodern thing". It was the early 2000s and at the time, I knew little about postmodernism. Not so today. Now, as a veteran youth worker, I know how valuable it is to understand the culture that shapes our teens. In Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World , veteran youth worker, Brock Morgan, will help you do just that: Understand how the postmodern, post-Christian world is shaping the teens in our youth ministries so that we, in turn, can more effectively reach them with the Gospel of Jesus.

Why I read this book: I heard Brock speak years ago at a seminar at the National Youth Worker's Convention. I've been a fan ever since.  

My favorite quotes from the book: 

- "A post-Christian world is one in which Christianity is no longer the dominant religion or even the dominant mindset." 

- "Students don't want to be called Christians because of the baggage that comes with the title." 

- "As followers of Jesus, we need to learn what it means to live as exiles in a culture that is not sympathetic to our faith." 

- "In a post-Christian world, no value is placed on the Sabbath, so our children have some scheduled activity seven days a week. This has created the most anxious and stressed-out generation in history." 

- "The world needs great youth workers who will teach students how to think, not spoon-feed them what to think." 

- "People need to know that the faith is big enough for them. That our orthodoxy is generous and allows for all kinds of positions on all kinds of issues." 

- "Intellectual honesty is so refreshing to our students. We have to become professional thinkers who join in and keep the beautiful questions alive. We must become the keepers of the questions, the ones to whom skeptics and thinkers are drawn." 

- "Unanswered questions open us up to the bigness of God. When we offer pat answers to complex questions, we shrink God down to our level."

- "Our goal should not be helping 15-year-olds become godly. Our goal should be that one day when these 15-year-olds are 30-year-olds, their faith will influence who they marry, what careers they choose, what habits they form, and how they raise their children." 

- "Our job, our role, is to bask in the love of our Father and remember who is in charge. So if our relationship with God is our true ministry, then basking is a must." 

Who I'd recommend this book for: Anyone who serves in youth ministry, as a paid professional or volunteer. Brock's stories combined with the unimposing size of Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World make it accessible to a wide-variety of people. It's depth also makes this a book worth discussing in a youth ministry network or leader's training. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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