This is a much-needed book in the realm of youth ministry. With youth workers staying in ministry less then three years on average, this is a strong book to help those called by God to work with students, whether paid or volunteer, stay involved in youth ministry long-term.
Very few books in the past decade match the depth and openness regarding youth ministry that Matt Brinkley brings to this book. Matt, a PCA youth minister with over twenty-five years of youth ministry experience, writes clear and probing chapters that youth workers will find both encouraging and extremely challenging as well. I found myself regarding Matt Brinkley more and more as a “kindred spirit” as I read the book, even though we have already known each other for years. Do I agree with every youth ministry application and every bit of youth ministry philosophy that Matt makes reference to in the book? Not necessarily, but I do deeply agree with the principles he stresses throughout the book in order to “stay the course”.
I was spiritually strengthened and emotionally encouraged in my own call to youth ministry by the Lord working through Matt’s deep passion for Christ, excitement for His word, and strong desire to help both students and leaders of students.
Pastors, whether senior pastors, associates, or assistants, will also find this book helpful. Seeing the mind and heart of a youth pastor will help them be able to relate to, or at least understand, the church’s youth workers in a better way. Matt also talks about issues that many pastors wrestle with in a similar way. They will find great comfort and encouragement by God working through this book and through the Scriptures presented.
The personal reflection segments at the end of most chapters are very helpful to anyone seeking to do youth ministry for the long haul. May the Lord truly work in and through this book to help scores and scores of youth workers “stay the course of youth ministry.”