Ten Books Every Youthworker (and perhaps Christian) Isn’t Reading. . . .
by Walt Mueller
Here it is. My long-promised list of good and necessary reading that most youthworkers aren’t reading, but should be. Before getting to the list. . . . . Over the last two days I’ve had two very deep conversations with two very good friends about a growing problem that seems to be rearing it’s ugly head more and more often. Sadly, it’s a problem among Christians. To put it succinctly, we just aren’t very discerning. I’m seeing it more and more in my travels. For example, we adopt worship styles, preaching styles, theological bents, ministry approaches, etc. because they generate numbers – which of course equals “success” – without regard to whether or not they bring honor and glory to God. I’ll expand on this further at another time. At this point, I’ll leave it at this. . . . we don’t take the time to ask “Why am I doing this in this particular way?” I mention this in a blog on reading because I don’t think we’re doing the type of reading that builds a good strong foundation.
So, on to my list. There are quite a few more good books than these. No doubt. I know I’m leaving quite a few off the list and I’m sure you’ve got plenty of suggestions. However, this is my list today. Are you willing to take the challenge and get reading? Each of these books has the capacity to revolutionize how you think about and do ministry. In fact, the answer to the question “Why do you do what you do how you do it at CPYU?” includes all these books. No special order here. . .
Creation Regained by Albert Wolters. This is a foundational book on worldview that will change the way you look at God’s world and understand the concept of “worldview.” If I had my way, every Christian college student would take a class on this book. . . . and within a few years, we’d begin to see the results in our culture.
The Universe Next Door by James Sire. A classic on worldviews that’s now in its fourth edition! This book explains not only what a worldview is, but it explains and evaluates the worldviews present on our current cultural landscape.
The Christian Mind by Harry Blamires. Tutored by C.S. Lewis at
The Contemporary Christian by John Stott. A great theologian who writes practical, accessible stuff. This has helped me understand what it means to fulfill the will of the Father by being in, but not of, the world.
Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down by Marva Dawn. Wow, can this woman think! Subtitled “A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture,” read this before ever embarking on planning worship or taking sides in the worship wars.
Above All Earthly Powers: Christ In A Postmodern World by David Wells. A brilliant theologian who takes a multi-disciplinary approach drawing from the social sciences, history, etc. This book requires some slow and deliberate stepping to maneuver and digest its content. . . . but it’s a walk you must take. This is a great assessment of postmodern thinking and its influence on the church and ministry.
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A classic that issues a calling to contemporary Christians by one who put his life where his mouth is.
The Fabric of Faithfulness by Steven Garber. Again, a multidisciplinary approach to spiritual formation during the college years. Hey, if you’re about seeing kids come to and grow in faith, this will help you understand what that means and how to foster that type of growth.
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I try to get a copy of this into the hands of every parent and kid I meet. This book lays out our human purpose and what it means to live that purpose over the course of our lives.
The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer. Absent from the body for over twenty years, this guy understood today’s world before it even happened, better than we understand it today. Schaeffer offers cultural analysis and a model of cultural analysis that just might shatter your paradigms and change your life.
Okay. . . . . so I cheated on that last one. . . . . it’s actually more than one book. Sorry. Now get reading!
Taken from Walt Mueller's blog at The Center for Parent/ Youth Understanding (CPYU).