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Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn't Last and What Your Church Can Do about It [Paperback]

By Mark DeVries (Author)
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Item description for Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn't Last and What Your Church Can Do about It by Mark DeVries...

One of the biggest problems in youth ministry is the constant turnover of youth ministers. DeVries addresses the problem with a systematic answer: churches need to take corporate responsibility for establishing a vision and structure for effective ministry, rather than leaving it all up to the youth minister.

Publishers Description
You're looking for a youth pastor. Again. What goes wrong? Why do youth ministries crumble? And what is the cost to students, parents, volunteers and church staff? Is a sustainable youth ministry possible, even after a youth pastor leaves? Youth ministry expert Mark DeVries knows the answer is yes, because he helps build sustainable youth ministries through his coaching service called Youth Ministry Architects. So take heart: No matter what state the youth ministry at your church is in--in need of a leader and volunteers, full of battles and stress, large or small in number--it can be built to survive and to last for the long haul. Based on his own experience and on his many conversations and interviews with churches in crisis, DeVries pinpoints problems that cause division and burnout and dispels strongly held myths. He then provides the practical tools and structures pastors and church leaders need to lay a strong foundation for your ministry so that it isn't built on a person or the latest, greatest student ministry trend. His accessible guidance helps senior pastors and search committees create a realistic job description for a youth pastor provides tips for making wise hiring decisions equips youth pastors to build a strong volunteer team offers creative solutions to help youth pastors set and keep boundaries gives a road map for navigating church politics and more Building a sustainable youth ministry is not easy, and it's not quick. But with commitment to the process, hard work and DeVries's guidance, you can put together a healthy youth ministry--one that fits your church and lasts for the long haul. Youth ministrycan last. Here's how.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Intervarsity Press
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2008
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830833617  
ISBN13  9780830833610  

Availability  16 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 12:37.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Mark DeVries

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Mark DeVries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects (, a consulting team specializing in working with youth ministries in transition. Mark is the author of Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry, and, since 1986, he has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jeff is Dunn-RankinVice President of Consulting for Youth Ministry Architects. Since the late 1990s, he has also been the Director of Youth at Christ United Methodist Church in Venice, Florida. Other writing projects include his Group Magazine column and co-writing Before You Hire a Youth Pastor with Mark DeVries."

Mark DeVries currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Ministry Resources > Youth Ministry
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Sustainable Youth Ministry?

Excellent - Overall Vision and Nuts/Bolts to get there!!!  Mar 11, 2010
I'm a full time, paid church youth minister. My adult volunteer team is working through this book to set a long-term foundation for our ministries. EXCELLENT stuff! My pastor loves it, my church council loves it, the other ministry areas are listening to the ideas in this book. Great stuff.

DeVries has been in youth ministry for years and has consulted with thousands of churches. In his research, he has found several key foundations that must be in place at a congregation for youth ministry to survive and thrive. For instance, as a general rule of thumb he has seen that churches can/should expect a number of teens equal to 10% of their worshiping attendance to participate weekly in youth events. My church of 275 weekly worship should expect and target about 25-30 teens per week. Further, successful programs have a 1-to-5 adult-teen ratio, so I need about 6 adults present at those weekly events to make the relational ministry work. DeVries spells out how to build a program that will last. This isn't just a list of program events or funny games to try. This is strategy, building blocks, structure, and focus.

A must read for senior pastors, youth ministers, adult volunteers, hiring committees searching for a youth minister, and anyone in the congregation who is asking, "How can we get beyond just treading water in youth ministry and have something with good momentum?"
Sustainable Youth Ministry: Practical  Feb 15, 2010
Title: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries.

Pages: 224.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 2 months.

Days spent reading it: 4 days.

Why I read it: Susan and I saw Mark DeVries at a youth ministry conference. We were really impressed with his presentation (we only had the abbreviated version of it too!). We looked at each other and decided right away that we would be picking up his book. Definitely worth it.

Brief review: Sustainable Youth Ministry is a general guide to the confusing world of youth ministry. Mark DeVries walks his readers through both the abstract and the practical.

DeVries has great organization for this book. He opens a topic and then explores 4 or 5 subpoints for the topic. He covers everything from ministries that are stuck to church politics. I actually finished this book a few months ago. I underlined a lot. As I was flipping through it again tonight, I thought to myself, "it would be good if I read through this book again, at least the underlined points." Why? DeVries covers so much information, it is impossible to absorb it all in one reading. The best part is that so much of this book is practical. It is easy to immediately implement many of his suggestions.

This is definitely a niche book. It's only going to be helpful to people concerned with youth ministry. But for those in youth ministry, I can give no higher recommendation for a book. This is a treasure trove of guidance from a youth ministry veteran. You must read it. Not much else to say.

Favorite quote: Youth workers who don't feel over their heads, who don't feel they're overwhelmed and failing at times, may simply not understand their jobs.

Stars: 5 out of 5.

Final Word: Practical.
Successful Long Term Plan for Youth Ministry  Nov 13, 2009
Mark DeVries has followed a great book with another knockout for youth ministers. Sustainable Youth Ministry will inform you why so many youth leaders burn out quickly and youth ministries spark fast yet ultimately fizzle.

Too many churches look for superstar leaders - young 20 somthings with boundless energy and no experience - to deliver the results they expect from a 20 year veteran.

The problem arises when results aren't met, which leads to complaining and hurt feelings. Pretty soon the church is looking for the next superstar once again.

In this book, church leaders are told to expect nothing less than 4 or 5 years worth of foundation building before setting off their fireworks.

This idea doesn't sit well with our society (and church communities) that demand instant results and instant success.

Within these pages, you'll learn about navigating church politics, discovering what role to place yourself within ministry, and how to recruit your best volunteers.

DeVries sets the tone for a more successful, more atainable God-honoring ministry.

This book was provided for review by IVP Press.
Sustainable Youth Ministry  Sep 11, 2009
This book is outstanding. It communicates clearly what youth ministries are doing that are keeping them from thriving and explaining how these same youth ministries can make healthy changes and be a sustained ministry within their congregation. I would encourage youth ministers, elders, senior pastors, deacons and anyone who loves young people to read this book.
Sustainable Youth Ministry  Aug 22, 2009
An excellent overview of youth ministry by a person who has worked in the field for over 20 years. Clear and reasonable insights and suggestions.

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