When you think about the state of youth ministry today, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you cheer or fear? Is the glass half full or half empty? Mark Oestreicher offers a fresh take on what’s right in youth ministry—and discovers that perhaps things aren’t as broken as some of us might have thought.
Updating and expanding upon his book A Beautiful Mess, Oestreicher uses his unique perspective—acquired through experience as an in-the-trenches youth worker, authoring youth ministry books, and coaching youth workers across the country—to show, anecdotally and theologically, the many encouraging signs in the realm of youth ministry. The emphasis here is on what’s working, with a focus on six values great youth ministries embrace: the long view, the power of small, the role of the Holy Spirit, integration over isolation, embracing the role of parents, and living into the weird and wonderful things about your unique ministry environment.
Responses from Kurt Johnston—a youth ministry veteran and Oestreicher’s longtime friend—offer additional insight, practical tips, and some friendly pushback at the end of each chapter.
This book will help you experience the freedom of your calling, rather than the stress of expectations. You’ll discover an abundance of reasons to remain optimistic, intentional, and faithful as you engage in the lives of today’s teenagers.
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Meet the Authors
Mark Oestreicher is a partner in The Youth Cartel, which provides resources, training, and coaching for church youth workers, and is the author of many books for youth workers, parents, and teenagers.
Kurt Johnston has been in youth ministry since 1988 and at Saddleback Church since 1997. Although he leads the kids and youth teams on all 20 Saddleback campuses, he’s still a junior high pastor at heart.