Click on highlighted titles for full reviews from CPYU



Awakening Youth Discipleship: Christian Resistance in a Consumer Culture. Brian Mahan, Michael Warren and David White. Cascade Books, 2008.


Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, & Deliver Effective Messages. Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins. Zondervan/YouthSpecialties, 2007.


Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry. Rick Lawrence. Group Publishing, 2007. Click here for an excerpt from this book.


Don't Waste Your Life Group Study Kit. John Piper. Crossway, 2007.


What Matters Most: When NO is Better than YES. Doug Fields. Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2006.

Hardwired to Connect
. Institute for American Values (DVD), 2007 (DVD).


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Deep Ministry in a Shallow World: Not-So-Secret Findings About Youth Ministry. Chap Clark and Kara Powell. Zondervan, 2006. Not promising a clear-cut solution, Clark and Powell present a well-thought out model that can be adapted to each ministry situation in order to take that area of ministry to a deeper level./files/Book Covers/Winter 2006/Group's Emergency Response Handbook - Thumbnail.jpg




Group's Emergency Response Handbook. Group Publishing, 2006. While the guide is far from being an exhaustive counseling manual, it does offer "amateur" counselors concise practical wisdom and advice that can be shared with those facing tough times.


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Making Sense of Generation Y: The World View of 15 - 25-year-olds. Church House Publishing, 2006. This book challenges many of the presuppositions the church has held about young people and how to effectively minister to them. Right or wrong, youth workers who read this book will be challenged and forced to reevaluate their ministry efforts.

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The Gospel Journey. Greg Stier. Dare2Share Ministries. This DVD captures the six-day Rocky Mountain adventure of seven very different teens along with Dare2Share founder Greg Stier. The footage honestly captures their discussions, doubt, disbelief and conversations about what it means to be a follower of Christ.


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Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World. David Wells. Eerdmans, 2005. Wells describes the current state of western civilization, noting how we've gotten to where we are while sounding a a warning regarding how the evangelical church is accommodating these shifts. 




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Do They Run When They See You Coming? - Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers. Jonathan McKee. Zondervan/Youth Specialities, 2004. This practical and engaging book begins by laying the foundation for viewing and engaging unchurched teens as a mission field. 


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This Way to Youth Ministry: An Introduction to the Adventure. Duffy Robbins. Zondervan/Youth Specialities Academic, 2004. This text book is an engaging and comprehensive overview that introduces students to youth ministry and everything that comes with the territory. Though a text book, it's practical content and format make it equally useful outside the classroom.




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Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers. Chap Clark. Baker, 2004. Based on solid research and years of insightful observation, Clark's "Hurt" serves to open the eyes of parents, youth workers, pastors, educators, and youth-serving professionals to realities from which the church has too often chosen to look away. 'Hurt' offers a deep and penetrating look into the contemporary adolescent experience that will serve us well as we work to have a prophetic, preventive, and redemptive influence on the world of today's youth culture. This title is available in the CPYU Resource Center.



Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility. Thomas Lickona. Bantam, 1991. While this is primarily a how-to guide for educators, the opening chapters offer insight into the causes and cures for the "crisis of character." Youth workers will find practical suggestions to adapt and implement with students in the context of the church youth group.




Generation Next. George Barna. Regal Books, 1995. More cutting-edge research from the Barna Research Group. Includes results from a nationwide survey of teens born between 1977 and 1982.





God at the Mall: Youth Ministry That Meets Kids Where They're At. Pete Ward. Hendrickson, 1999. A youth ministry practitioner who is also a deep-thinking theorist challenges us to step back from our ministries and examine our approach in light of the message we're working to communicate and the current cultural situation. Every youthworker should read this book!




Help! I'm a Small Church Youth Worker. Rich Grassel. Zondervan, 2002. Written by a by a CPYU board member and college professor, this book fills a void in a world of youth ministry books written mostly for those in large churches. Grassel guides youth workers through a process to help them find and develop their own small church ministry model.





Just Shoot Me! A Practical Guide for Using Video in Your Ministry. Jay Delp and Joel Lusz. Zondervan, 2002. In an age of ever-developing technology, sometimes the tried and true methods don't work. Today's media savvy teens expect more, and this book offers video production tips in order to help youth workers develop resources they can use to effectively minister to youth.




Ministry with Youth in Crisis. Harley Atkinson. Religious Education Press, 1997. A comprehensive treatment of seven major adolescent issues: self-identity, family life, social relationships, sexuality, suicide, substance abuse, and eating disorders.




Quest Logo.jpgQuest. This video series from Image X Media takes teens on an entertaining and engaging seven session journey to tap into and think about life's "ultimate issues." Production values are high, and the series is prevented in a very relevant manner that will engage teens and effectively challenge them to consider the person and claims of Christ. Video is available at




Retrofuture: Rediscovering Our Roots, Recharting Our Routes. Gerard Kelly. InterVarsity, 1999. A brilliant, readable, and concise analysis of how our world is changing and the implications of those changes for ministry in the postmodern world of the 21st  century.




When Kumbaya Is Not Enough: A Practical Theology for Youth Ministry. Dean Borgman. Hendrickson, 1997. Insightful commentary on today's youth culture along with practical suggestions on how to approach and exegete the world of children and teens. Written by a youth culture/ministry expert with over 50 years of experience.




Family-Based Youth Ministry: Reaching the Been-There, Done-That Generation. Mark DeVries. InterVarsity, 1994. A practical and convincing rationale for the need to minister to and with families through local church youth ministry.





The Youth Worker's Handbook to Family Ministry. Chap Clark. Zondervan, 1997. An expert in youth ministry offers insight on how to "minister" within your family.





130 Ways to Involve Parents in Youth Ministry. Group Books, 1994. With contributions from CPYU's Walt Mueller, this little book is filled with dozens of practical ideas.Included are several pages of reproducible handouts and forms.






Risk In Our Midst: Empowering Teenagers To Love The Unlovable. Scott Larson. Group, 2000. This book guides youthworkers, parents, and other adults through the process of equipping students to notice, embrace, love and care for "the teenagers that no one else sees." Included is a six-session course for youth groups.





City Lights: Ministry Essentials For Reaching Urban Youth. Scott Larson and Karen Free, general editors. Group, 2003. A group of urban youth ministry practitioners offer helpful insight into how to minister to you in today's urban setting.





Soul Searching The Millennial Generation: Strategies for Youth Workers. L. David Overholt & James Penner. Stoddart, 2002. Two veteran youth workers offer adults insight into how to understand and minister to today's emerging generation.




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God in the Alley: Being and Seeing Jesus in a Broken World. Greg Paul. Shaw Books, 2004. Shattering our preconceived notions on missions, Greg Paul calls us to view our entire lives as mission fields and to get our hands dirty.


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Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford University Press, 2005. Based on results from the National Study of Youth and Religion, this collection of data and commentary takes a look at the spiritual landscape of today's teens. Excellent reference source.


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Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance. Os Guinness. Baker, 2003. Guinness issues a call to the church to thoughtfully consider how to be truly relevant in our current ministry settings. This is a great resource for anyone in ministry.






Too Christian - Too Pagan: How To Love The World Without Falling For It. Dick Staub. Zondervan, 2000. A practical, Biblical guide to impacting and engaging the culture for Christ.





A Generation Alone: Xers Making a Place in the World. William Mahedy and Janet Bernardi. InterVarsity, 1994. A guide to understanding the values, attitudes, and behaviors of those born between 1961 and 1981.





A Passion for the Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism. Alister McGrath. InterVarsity, 1996. A theologian's call for evangelicals to use their minds, particularly in response to postmodernism and religious pluralism.





A Primer on Postmodernism. Stanley Grenz. Eerdmans, 1996. This might be the best overview of postmodern theory and thought available. Offers practical insights in understandable terms from a theology professor.





An 8-Track Church in a CD World: The Modern Church in a Postmodern World. Ronald N. Nash, Jr. Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1997. A concise history of the shift from modernism to postmodernism along with a challenge to the 21st century church.






Engaging Unbelief: A Captivating Strategy from Augustine and Aquinas. Curtis Chang. InterVarsity, 2000. A strategy drawn from the work of Augustine and Aquinas for presenting the truth about Christ in a world that rejects all truth claims as arbitrary.




Generating Hope: A Strategy for Reaching the Postmodern Generation. Jimmy Long, InterVarsity, 1997. A veteran campus worker summarizes the intellectual/worldview context of today's emerging generations along with suggested ministry strategies. Highly recommended.




In The Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. Henri Nouwen. Crossroad, 1989. Though written over a decade ago, Nouwen's vulnerable confessions and conclusions offer sound advice for what it means to minister effectively in today's postmodern world.




Inside The Soul of A New Generation: Insights and Strategies for Reaching Busters. Tim Celek & Dieter Zander. Zondervan, 1996. Insights into how to best reach Xers from two pastors who founded the earliest "Buster churches.





Is It a Lost Cause?: Having the Heart of God for the Church's Children. Marva Dawn.  Eerdmans, 1997. A strategy for nurturing children in the Christian faith at a time when the postmodern worldview is powerful and pervasive.





Jesus for a New Generation: Putting the Gospel in the Language of Xers. Kevin Graham Ford. InterVarsity, 1995. Perhaps the best and most practical guide that gets you "into" the hearts and minds of Xers. Filled with great advice and good stories that drive home each point. Especially helpful is Ford's overview of Postmodernism.





Like a House on Fire: Renewal of Arts in a Postmodern Culture. Steve Scott. Cornerstone Press, 1997. A brief yet thought-provoking challenge to the church regarding possibilities for the renewal of the arts in the Kingdom.





Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision. David Wells. Eerdmans, 1998. Another offering by Wells how the church has followed culture and what the church must do to regain its place as leader rather than a follower.




Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future. Tom Sine. Baker Books, 1999. Sine pleads with the church to take the future seriously. A wake-up call to churches that refuse to engage in the practice of contextualization, with specific examples of how we can get involved.




No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. David Wells. Eerdmans, 1993. A straightforward challenge to the church from a leading theologian. In a day and age where truth is often shoved aside in favor of relevance, this is a book that must be read, digested, and studied by everyone in ministry. It's a heavy read - but necessary.




Postmodern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century World. Leonard Sweet. Broadman & Holman, 2000. Addresses the major categories in which postmoderns think and offers strategies for effective ministry.





Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Crossway Books, 1994. An overview of the Postmodern world-view and with insight on how to effectively communicate the Gospel to postmodern hearts and minds that have been heavily influenced by moral relativism.





Reaching a New Generation: Strategies for Tomorrow's Church. Alan J. Roxburgh. Regent College Publishing, 1998. A concise overview of postmodernism along with helpful ministry strategies for the new millennium.





SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture. Leonard Sweet. Zondervan, 1999. A look at the penetrating changes sweeping the culture at the dawn of the new millennium along with suggestions for what the church must become if it's going to maintain/recover its effectiveness.






The Heart of Evangelism. Jerram Barrs. Crossway Books, 2002. Using the examples of Christ and the Apostle Paul, Bans offers a biblically grounded approach to evangelism that calls into question many of the "methods" that Christians and the church have been teaching and using in recent years.





The Wounded Healer. Henri J. M. Nouwen. Image, 1972. Timely when it was first written, this classic continues to serve as a valuable for guide for those looking for insight into how to minister to today's emerging postmodern generations.





Temptations Families Face: Breaking Patterns That Keep Us Apart. Tom Eisenman. InterVarsity, 1996. A veteran family counselor identifies the patterns of modern life that undermine family strength while offering practical suggestions to keep us centered on our families.



The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study. Judith Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis & Sandra Blakeslee. Hyperion, 2000. Compelling evidence, both research-based and anecdotal, of the long-term negative effects of divorce on children.




The Broken Hearth: Reversing the Moral Collapse of the American Family. William J. Bennett. Doubleday, 2001. Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett tackles the demise of the American family. Bennett offers a history of the family, reasons for fixing the American family and political responsibilities for enabling change