Jonathan Hobbs, Len Kageler

Don’t Do This

(3 customer reviews)

Learning From the Screw-Ups of Youth Ministry Leaders

Including stories from Amy Jacober, Tic Long, Stephanie Boyce, Andy Root, Chap Clark, Mark Oestreicher, Brock Morgan, and Mark DeVries



In stock


“This book is a place where failures are allowed. This is a book about the decisions we made that we’d like to take back.”

But this book is about more than failure, it’s a book of help and hope as well. In a ministry world where “success” is demanded, it’s important to remember that our creative ministry programming ideas won’t turn out perfect every time and the relational proficiency expected in youth work almost always requires learning the hard way.

“Perhaps you have heard the saying that ‘only one idea out of ten succeeds’ …This is a book about the other nine ideas.”

These stories, told first person from youth workers across the continent, include failures in the fundamentals of youth ministry, with youth themselves, with parents and volunteers, and with church and parachurch leadership as well. You’ll also find questions for personal reflection or group discussion, as well as youth ministry class assignments for college and seminary use.

About the Editors

Len Kageler, PhD, is a Professor of Youth and Family Studies at Nyack College in Nyack, New York, and New York City. He is the author of nine other books, including Youth Ministry in a Multifaith Society: Forming Christian Identity Among Skeptics, Syncretists, and Sincere Believers of Other Faiths (InterVarsity, 2014). He is often a guest lecturer or seminar presenter at youth worker or academic gatherings in North America and the European Union. Len is a runner, a researcher and reader. He and his wife, Janet, enjoy hiking year round. And Len, when he backpacks with friends in winter, is famous for making good omelets while camping on snow.

Jonathan Hobbs is the Director of Youth Ministries at the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, Pennsylvania. He has worked in professional youth ministry for over 17 years, including churches in New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He has spoken and/or led worship for multiple camps, retreats, and events around the country. He took karate in high school because he thought it would help make him cool. He was wrong. Jonathan and his wife, Carolyn, have two beautiful daughters, Kaylin and Julia. He loves golf, can skillfully juggle two balls and does a halfway decent impression of Kermit the Frog.

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Additional information

Weight .6 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × .6 × 5.5 in


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3 reviews for Don’t Do This

  1. Deby

    I am new to Youth Ministry and found these stories to be both funny and informative. Also, as a parent I could appreciate the multiple points of view. I give this book a thumbs up and highly recommend it for anyone looking to work with Youth and Youth Ministry.

  2. MaryAnn

    A must read for anyone in ministry! Failure is unavoidable if you strive to be creative. This book will remind you that you’re not alone in having blown it, and maybe save you from making the same mistakes (humorous and serious) as some of the contributors.

  3. Jesse

    Must read for anyone in ministry/considering ministry. Some of the stories of failure are funny, while others are serious and worth taking note of. An important lesson for all – failure is unavoidable!

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