Mark Oestreicher, author of Youth Ministry 3.0, recently penned a book called A Beautiful Mess that was offered as a free e-book for a short time back in May via Group. There’s a refreshing level of optimism in youth ministry as a result of the author’s observations on such things as the increasing longevity of youth leaders and the benefits of simple relational youth ministry.
Oestreicher also takes an honest look at trends he says modern youth ministry is “waking up to,” most notably the efforts made to connect with parents and the shift away from isolation to integration. Chapter three stood out as he highlights an awakening of the role of the Holy Spirit in youth ministry as well.
While it was encouraging and certainly lived up to its own stated premise of helping you “experience the freedom of your calling, rather than the stress of expectations,” I have a hard time seeing how the publisher can justify a $9.99 cover price ($7.99 digital) for a 70-page book that can be read in less than two hours. I guess if you’re in need of a little encouragement as a youth pastor or leader, it will be money well spent. I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad I got it for free.