Reading on purpose...
I’ve never been a huge reader in the student / youth ministry genre. I feel more challenged and my imagination is more stirred by theology, philosophy and general Christian living book. You know, NT Wright and all his buds. But times are a’ changin! Now i’m a student ministries pastor, in charge of loving and leading a group of middle school student and volunteers and coming along side families in hopes of discipleship. I’ve been doing student ministry for over 10 years but this is one of my first planted, plugged in church Student Ministry gigs and i’m finding that reading student ministry specific material is really helpful!
#1. It helps my Imagination. To read what other people are doing, the good and the bad, is really helpful in thinking and praying about what we do to disciple our students at Christ Church. And just general ideation, reading is HUGE in the stirring of new ideas.
#2. Reading is the source of practical list making. Maybe your not like me and don’t have random to-do list and idea pages scattered around your office BUT i do! They are everywhere. Only 50% of them are helpful but you never know when a list of ideas or to-do's are gonna catch your eye and remind you of something helpful. Now i just need to move toward the organization phase but i’m not there yet. Although Wunderlist is helping me! (that’s an app drop - go check out Wunderlist. A great FREE app for your phone or iPad, computer.)
#3. I find that as i read i pray! Students come to mind, parents and volunteers come to mind and even ideas and programs i’m trying to implement come to mind as i read and it’s a great prayer prompter. So i’m just trying to take my time and pray when things come to mind or even write then down (back to the list idea) so that when i’m done reading i can start praying.
#4th & and the primary benefit to me is that reading just helps to facilitate a general conversations with God as to where He is leading us as a ministry. And it generates a conversation between people and parents. Super helpful.
Yea, reading is helping me to do all this and more.
SO, what should i be reading?
Here are a few things i am reading (at least the book about middle school...)