4 Books You Should Read This Summer

As the youth ministry calendar begins to slow down it is a great time to rest, get caught up on some projects and read.

Some of you love to read and some of you hate to read.  Wherever you fall I want to challenge you to strategically pick at least one book this summer to read. Here are 4 very different options that you could choose from.

Is God anti-gay? by Sam Allberry

One of the issues that we are all engaging with in our ministries is homosexuality.  If you would love a short (85 pages), concise look at what the bible says about homosexuality this is the book for you.

It is clear, concise, biblical and gets right to the heart of the issue.  If you do not love reading then I would highly recommend that Allberry’s book be your read this summer.

Deep Justice in a Broken World by Chap Clark & Kara E. Powell

This book has been on my shelf for some time (it was published in 2007) and have just recently read it.  I guarantee that this book will help you think well about justice which will help your students act well when it comes to justice.

Simply put Clark and Powell present a model to help students live a life that is marked by deep justice.  They then use this model against the backdrop of different social issues.

Your students are thinking about justice and social issues so it is great to be able to have a thoughtful conversation with them.

Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright

There are 2 things I want to say about Wright.  He is an extremely respected theologian and he writes ALOT.  This book is one of his works for the general public and it is fantastic.

What Wright is doing is saying when we take away all of the traditions, who simply is Jesus?  The answer is a fascinating and course correcting book for many of us.  Jesus should be who we talk about the most so we better understand Him.

Youth Ministry in the 21st Century: Five Views

In youth ministry please do not just keep doing what you always have been doing.  Be intentional with what and why your youth ministry does what it does.

This book will present 5 different models;

  • The Gospel Advancing View
  • The Reformed View
  • The Adoption View
  • The Ecclesial View
  • The D6 View

Each author presents their view and then all of the authors respond to that view.  What happens is you get a wonderful dialogue on 5 different youth ministry models.  This helps to see the pros and cons of the different models and to be able to evaluate your ministry.

So how about you?  What books do you suggest that we read this summer?

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Tyson Howells

Tyson is the associate youth ministry director for Vanguard Youth Ministry Institute. He has been a youth pastor for many years in Winnipeg as well as in Edmonton. Tyson is passionate in seeing relational youth ministry that results in youth that are passionate about following Jesus. He still leads a small group at the youth group in his home church.


  1. Kevin Janzensays:

    Thanks Tyson! I always need some good recommendations! I just read Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Helped me reaffirm my need to surround my life and ministry in prayer.

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