One the questions I get asked from time to time is what books people who are new to Kids Ministry should read. Some are asking because they are new to ministry others are asking because they are family pastors adding new staff. This is the list of books I often share it isn’t comprehensive and is not in order of importance.
One of the best books I have ever read on the mandatory art of recruiting and building teams of volunteers. As a family pastor, you will not survive without learning how to help make volunteers.
Show them Jesus is an indispensable resource for anyone who teaches or communicates with kids. Jack gets to the heart of what we teach and then gives practical tools and tips in how to teach those truths using real world examples. Jack is not sharing with us untested theories but time-tested truths he has learned as someone who has been and still is teaching kids Sunday to Sunday. His stuff on how to teach the hard stories of the bible are solid gold.
Leading isn’t easy. Leading others when you are deceiving yourself is impossible. If you lead anyone and yes I realize this is everyone. You need to read this book.
You are what you love – by James KA Smith You Are What You Love is a fantastic book that tackles the idea that we are not so much what we think but what we love. That the problems in our lives are a result of misdirected affections. Even if the whole book doesn’t interest you the chapter on teaching kids and youth is a must read for all who work in family ministry.
You Are What You Love is a fantastic book that tackles the idea that we are not so much what we think but what we love. That the problems in our lives are a result of misdirected affections. Even if the whole book doesn’t interest you the chapter on teaching kids and youth is a must read for all who work in family ministry.
Do More Better – Challies This is
This book is a quick read that deals with the basics of productivity. I loved it because of its simplicity and gospel-centricity.
This book is a classic. Written ten years ago it is still relevant and is probably the most helpful book out there on how to make your large group times in kids church more engaging.
Life Together is a must read for every North American Christian. This book needs to be read because the faith that we hand the kids and youth we serve must not be the radically individualized faith that has become so pervasive in North America. We don’t understand the communal aspect of our faith like we need to. Life Together is one of Bonhoeffer’s best. It is a timeless message that is desperately needed in the church today.
There are few people as gracious and humble as Sally Lloyd-Jones. Jesus Story Book Bible has sold over 2 million copies and for good reason, it much more than a book for children. When adults get saved or struggle in their understanding of the gospel one of the first books I have them read is the Jesus Storybook Bible. It clearly shows the story behind every story in a brilliantly written beautifully illustrated book that is as timeless as the truth it proclaims.
Dr. Ware teaches Systematic theology in a seminary when putting his three girls to bed they wanted to hear stories, so instead of telling them about ghosts he taught them systematic theology in an engaging age-appropriate way. Reading his book will help you as a parent and pastor have language and illustrations for some of the more complex questions kids ask.
This is one of the few books I read every year. It is the story of Saul, David, and Absolom. When I was younger, I read it, and it helped me to be more like David and deal rightly with the Saul’s in my life. As I have gotten older, it now helps me be more like David with the Absolom’s in my life. It is a short simple brilliant story of how to submit to authority and how to hold authority in your life.
I found this book super helpful because of the questions they tell you to ask to increase engagement with those you lead. The more you listen, the better you are at asking questions, the more effective you will lead those God has given you influence over.
This is probably the most helpful book I have ever read on leading small groups. Reggie has written many books this one, in my opinion, is his best.
If you don’t know who Tim Keller is you need to. If you want to know who Tim Keller is, start here. This book does a masterful job of explaining the gospel we should be proclaiming. In kids and youth ministry we get very caught up in reaching the prodigal sons, but we would do well to remember that our church is full of older brothers who need the gospel as well.
Excellent book on creativity and the creative process at Pixar. It doesn’t fully translate to the church but is helpful in thinking outside the box in all you do as a ministry leader.
This book is a classic. It’s a classic because the ideas in it are foundational to so many other books of it’s kind. Every chapter is gold. For you to lead better, you need to understand what good leaders do. This book plainly paints that picture for you.
One of the most difficult things to do is lead something. One the most dangerous things you can do is think that you are impervious to failure and pain. Paul Tripp writes a book that I wish I would have read twenty years ago. If you are new to church ministry, you need to read this book before you have to read this book.
Love Piper’s passion for the gospel. His call in this book is a call for reformation in the pastoral vocation. Pastors are not CEO’s we are not called to love primarily and to lead secondarily. Each chapter is a powerful call to be a shepherd. It is foundational and should be read by all in ministry but definitely by those new to ministry.
This book is a manifesto for family ministry. It should be read by all who do kids and youth ministry.