- Sustainable Youth Ministry, IVP Books, 2008
If you only read one book on youth ministry, this might be the best one. The author focuses on a calm, deliberate, systemic and doable approach to youth ministry.
- The Godbearing Life, The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry, Upper Room Books, 1998
A foundational book which revisions youth ministry away from organizing programs and towards forming the individual lives of young people. An essential read for anyone doing ministry with young people.
- Contemplative Youth Ministry, Practicing the Presence of Jesus, Youth Specialties, 2006
In some ways a companion piece to The Godbearing Life; Contemplative Youth Ministry examines how to rescue youth ministry from constant events and program, and to redraw it around practices of contemplative prayer and worship.
- Go Deep, Spiritual Practices for Youth Ministry, Wood Lake Publishing, 2009
Doris Kizinna's book contextualizes youth ministry as a spiritual journey and this book offers youth workers and ministers tools to take a deep exploration of your own beliefs and calling. You'll be able to develop practical, engaging practices to enrich your own spiritual life, and share them with your young people.
- Consuming Youth, Zondervan / Youth Specialties, 2010
An examination of the impact consumer culture has had not only on young people over the past century, but also on the Church. A fascinating look at how youth ministry can either react to the consumerist world around us, or can become an antidote.
- Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, HarperCollins, 1998
An important book for on the process of visioning or revisioning a youth ministry. From your own place as a leader, to working out goals; the emphasis of the Purpose Driven approach is on sustainable youth ministry with a vision.
- Starting Right; Thinking theologically about youth ministry, Youth Specialties, 2001
A weighty (literally!) overview of the practice of developing a theological youth ministry; from developing a vision to organizing the sorts of programs which can help achieve it.
- The Emerging Millennials, Project Canada, 2009
- Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Canadian Young Adults are Leaving, Staying and Returning to Church, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, 2012
An important study of 18-30 year olds across the Canadian Church, including Anglicans and those in other mainline traditions. It provides an important insight as to why young people leave the Church and what are the key challenges we need to address. A review of the report’s findings from an Anglican perspective appears in the November 2012 issue of TOPIC.
- Single-Digit Youth Groups, Working with Fewer than 10 Teens, Abingdon, 2004
As the title suggests, a resource to help small youth groups or those in parishes with a handful of youth who want to begin running a youth ministry but don’t know where to start. An excellent source of ideas for structure, programming, finding support and guidelines for volunteer screening and safety.
- Youth Ministry in Small Churches, Group, 1990
Like the “Single Digit” book, this one is specifically aimed at starting and maintaining youth ministry with small numbers of youth. Especially groups where attendance numbers are unpredictable!
- Help! I’m a Volunteer Youth Worker! Youth Specialties, 1992
A slim volume with fifty tips and nuggets of advice to help you reflect on your youth ministry. It’s a quick, encouraging read but make sure you read it with your twenty first century brain on (for “letter” read “text message” etc.!)
Worship and Liturgies
- Growing Souls, Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry, Youth Specialties, 2007
The sequel to Contemplative Youth Ministry continues the threads from the previous book and collects stories from those involved in the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, which formed the basis of the first book
- The Book of Uncommon Prayer, Youth Specialties, 2002
An excellent collection of ready-to-go liturgies, prayers and responsive readings updating ancient rites for youth worship. Includes CD of ancient-modern liturgical music.
- Blessing New Voices, United Church Press, 2000
A guide to creating youth oriented worship opportunities, including many examples of liturgies and prayers. Also includes activities to follow up on these worship experience.
Curricula for Youth Groups / Bible Study / Confirmation
- This is Our Faith: A popular presentation of Church teaching, Redemptorist, 2007
A clear, colourful guide to the fundamentals of Christianity and questions of faith. A great resource for planning a confirmation study program.
A lectionary based bible study for teens and young adults from the ELCA (Lutheran). It's free(!) and offers a simple lesson plan. Here's a sample session:http://blogs.elca.org/faithlens/may-27-2018/
This is a collection of eight YouTube ‘webisodes’ taken from the series “Father Mathew Presents…” Each five minute episode is an engaging and educational look at one of the sacraments of the Episcopal Church. This series can make a fun, interesting conversation starter about the sacraments in the context of a confirmation program. More "Father Matthew Presents..." videos can also be found by following the above link.
- Wild Truth Bible Lessons, Youth Specialties, 1996
Great structures and material for junior high aged students. These sessions were designed for large youth groups; but with a little imagination most of the activities can work with smaller sized numbers.
- Youthwork Vol. 1: Christian Basics, Kingsway, 1994
Originally from the UK; these ready-to-go sessions combine activities, discussions and Bible studies and make the basis of excellent youth group sessions. These are excellent resources designed for 12 – 16 year olds, but use a lot of British pop culture references. Phil can help with the translating!
- Youthwork Vol. 4: Belief, Kingsway, 1995
- Manga Messiah, Bible League, 2006
Ever wanted to see how the story of Jesus would look if it were presented as Manga (Japanese graphic novel style)? This is a great read which incorporates all four gospels into a narrative of Jesus’ life; and would be a good resource for youth who want to explore the Bible and love graphic novels.
- Manga Metamorphosis, Bible League, 2008
The next graphic novel from the team which wrote Manga Messiah. This one picks up the story with a manga interpretation of Acts and the life of Paul.
- Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook, Youth Specialties, 2004
An excellent guide to using activities and group initiatives as a method of teaching and learning in youth ministry. The book's very apt subtitle is that it deals with "how intentional activity can make the spiritual stuff stick"!
- No Supplies Required; Crowdbreakers and Games, Group Publishing, 1995
95 games and activities for youth which require no extra equipment and little to no planning.
- Crowdbreakers and Mixers for Youth Groups, Youth Specialties, 1997
A collection of 230 activities, games and openings for use in youth ministry.
- Last Impressions: Unforgettable Closings, Group Publishing, 1996
- Living Justice, justgeneration.ca, 2011 and 2013
A justice themed confirmation resource from the Primates World Relief and Development Fund. Formed around the Five Marks of Mission and designed to be an a missional addition to an existing confirmation program.
- Youth Handbook, justgeneration.ca, 2008
This book is a great primer for social justice issues, and the work of the Primates World Relief and Development Fund, as well as a resource for action ideas for small and large youth groups.
- Side by Side: Off the Grid, justgeneration.ca, 2006
- Sojourning: A Leader's Guide for Short Term Mission Travel, Canadian Churches' Forum for Global Ministries, 2002
- The Debt Game, Christian Aid, 1999
From Christian Aid in the UK; these simulation games are the perfect way to introduce justice and development issues to a youth group. They combine fun activities with great intros and debriefings – and best of all, each game has everything you need to run it! The Debt Game is one of the more complex, simulating the effects of global free trade, and is best suited to teens and designed for groups of at least a dozen youth.
- The Paper Bag Game, Christian Aid, 2003
On the other end of the simulation game scale is the Paper Bag game. Suitable for youth of nine years and up, and can be played with groups of any number. In this game, youth simulate life in the slums of India. (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)
- The Chocolate Trade Game, Christian Aid, 2005
This is a game for medium sized groups of youth; simulating cocoa bean production and selling in both developing and developed countries. Works better the more youth you have! (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)
- Trading Trainers, Christian Aid, 1996
Or, for Canadians, Trading Sneakers! This game is set in a Latin American shanty town and simulates the clothing trade; and how the demands of the developed world affect the work done (and reward earnt for it) by those in developing nations. Works best with groups of a dozen or more youth. (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)
- Downtown Eastside Simulation, Diocese of New Westminster, 2008
This simulation game is designed for large groups of youth aged 13-18; but could be used for other ages. It requires little equipment and minimal setup; everything you need is in one document! (This is a downloadable resource which you can access by clicking on the title above)
Older Books on Youth Ministry
- Resource Book for Ministries with Youth & Young Adults in the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, 1995
Practical and theoretical articles on establishing and operating youth ministries from Sunday School through youth groups to campus ministries. Despite the age, the information is still current and useful.
- Don’t Panic! The Essential Youth Ministry Handbook, Diocese of Niagara, 1992
College Age / Young Adult Ministry
- Soul Tending, Life Forming Practices for Older Youth and Young Adults, Abingdon Press, 2002
A series of studies and reflections for small group use (but can be used solo) engaging in Christian faith practices in daily life. Could form part of a ministry for older youth, or for youth leaders who want to worship and study together.
- Lives to Offer, Accompanying Youth on their Vocational Quests, Pilgrim Press, 2007
Part of a series called ‘Youth Ministry Alternatives’ which seeks to rescue youth ministry among youth and young adults from programs, or nothing, and root it in a vocational companionship with leaders, clergy, parents and everyone else within the Church.
Safe Church and Screening
The Red Cross has produced renowned training used across Canada by faith based and secular agencies for work with children, youth and other vulnerable persons. The Diocese has offered training with the RespectED material in the past and DYM recommends this training for children and youth ministries in parishes.