So here’s an odd post! In the youth ministry world we’re always looking for new, fresh ideas – things straight out of the packet with a long expiration date. However, there is nothing new under the sun, and sometimes the older ways say it best.
Here are a few relatively straightforward and massively helpful books on theology and practice that have genuinely and seriously informed how I approach my work with young people. Some are older than others, and none of them actually tell you how to do youth work. They do, however, tell you how to relate to God and how that should be expressed among his people.
I think they’re all pretty readable too, although granted they’re not necessary Dan-Brown-styled page-turners! Some are just sections – but well worth it!
(nb. I’ve included links, but most of them are available for free as pdfs online.)
Have an ancient(ish) blast
- St. Athanasius, On The Incarnation
- Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion Vol. I (Book one, Chs. 1, 2, 6, 12, 13; Book two, Chs. 9, 8, 12-17)
- Karl Barth, The Word of God and the Word of Man
- Søren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity
- Thomas a’Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
- The Bible – Cheesy ending to the list but genuinely the ‘timeless’ classic! Read it over and over and over again! I try and spend twice as much time in the Bible as any other book – hard, but oh so worth it. … … Go Bible!