Kurt Johnston

Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry

Revised & Expanded

Foreword by Rick Warren

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Includes chapter responses from Heather Flies, Scott Rubin, Kenny & Elle Campbell, Katie Edwards, and more.

Few areas of ministry are as intense, unpredictable, and chaotic as junior high ministry—but that craziness is probably one of the reasons you’re drawn to it!

Kurt Johnston and Justin Herman are your guides in this revised and expanded edition of a youth ministry classic. Their goal in Controlled Chaos is simple: to share their experience, insight, and a desire to provide a little bit of hope and help so you can effectively serve the middle school students in your church.

As youth ministry veterans, Kurt and Justin know the key to effective junior high ministry:


And this book unpacks how to turn that ministry formula into ministry reality:

  • Understanding today’s junior higher
  • Building an effective team of quality volunteers
  • Ministering to and partnering with parents and families
  • Pursuing and promoting creativity in your ministry
  • Identifying your ministry’s purpose
  • Teaching and speaking effectively to young teenagers
  • Having fun—yes, FUN—at church
  • Becoming a spiritually healthy leader

Accept the mess. Welcome the madness. Embrace the chaos.

Meet the Authors

In youth ministry since 1988, Kurt Johnston has been at Saddleback Church since 1997. Although he leads Saddleback’s kids and youth teams, he’s still a junior high pastor at heart. Kurt and his wife, Rachel, live in Southern California and have two adult children.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Justin Herman spent time at Mariners Church and Sandals Church and is the host of the Controlled Chaos Podcast. Justin and his wife, Brittany, have two boys and live in Riverside, California.

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Additional information

Weight .75 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .75 in
Page Count




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