books for young adult ministry

February 27, 2005 | 3 Comments

A good friend of mine is doing some studying for the young adult/college ministry he is developing at his church, so he asked me for some book recommendations. I figured I would post them here for him. Feel free to add a comment if you have other suggestions…

Here’s some books, along with some comments about each, for your study. I don’t know how much reading you want to do, but this would be a good start. I can always give you more suggestions. These are in a bit of an order, though you could pick and choose what interests you most. I think all would have some value as you are trying to develop a ministry to 20somethings.

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller – Great book and popular with the young adult audience. From what I understand, Campus Crusade has bought thousands of copies to give away on college campuses.

Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller – His newest book, and my favorite of his books. He does campus ministry at Reed College, so he connects well with college students.

The Present Future, by Reggie McNeal – I think this book does a good job of capturing what the church needs to be moving towards, and younger generations are already moving that way.

Radical Reformission, by Mark Driscoll – Driscoll has some critics, but he is certainly reaching younger generations.

The Celtic Way of Evangelism, by George Hunter – This is a book I just continue to revisit in my mind.

Search to Belong, by Joe Myers – Helps you think about what true community really should look like, and how it doesn’t simply fit into a small group program.

A New Kind of Christian, by Brian McLaren – This book is a bit controversial, but is influencing a lot of people, especially younger ones. There are also two sequels – The Story We Find Ourselves In, and The Last Word, and the Word After That.

The Younger Evangelicals, by Robert Webber – This book explores some of the trends of how younger evagelicals are expressing their faith.

Missional Church, by Darrell Guder – This is probably the most academic book on the list. I think it describes the kind of church that many young adults that I know seem to be longing for.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers – A secular book, but very popular with your target audience.

Urban Tribes, by Ethan Watters – I haven’t actually read this one, but it has been recommended to me. From everything I understand, it is about the people you are targeting.

  • this is a good list. I’ve read 8 of them (ok … at least 5 with 3 more just skimmed through)

  • Nothing specifically about Jesus or the Bible?! I’d suggest adding Nick Page’s *Bible Book* — a fun and painless way to learn a lot about the Word.

  • Conrad,
    Thanks for the comment. My friend has been in ministry for ten years and is pretty solid Biblically, but your point is well taken.