We asked hundreds of youth workers to tell us their favorite youth ministry books. This list is the result. But you can influence the list by leaving a comment below and letting us know what we missed or what your favorite youth ministry books are! We plan on updating this list as we get your feedback!

1. YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS IN YOUTH MINISTRY

Since forever altering the course of the youth ministry world with his best-selling, groundbreaking book, Purpose-Driven® Youth Ministry, Doug Fields’ mind—but especially his heart—has been focused on the many unique needs of new youth workers. Doug translated his passion, insight, and vision for his beloved “rookies” into what you’re now reading, Your Fist Two Years in Youth Ministry—hands-down the most comprehensive companion to not only surviving, but also thriving, during the most crucial phase of youth ministry.

2. SUSTAINABLE YOUTH MINISTRY

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.

3. LEAD SMALL

Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know clarifies the responsibilities of the small group leader who works with children and teenagers. It establishes five common threads so that those who choose to lead in any size church can work off the same blueprint. When you lead small, you realize that what you do for a few has more potential than what you do for many. When you lead small, you choose to invest in the lives of a few to encourage authentic faith. With personal insight and practical advice, Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas will show you how to do something small for a big impact.

4. CREATING A LEAD SMALL CULTURE

Creating a Lead Small Culture: Make Your Church a Place Where Kids Belong, by Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy, and Elle Campbell, is for every leader of small group leaders. Strategy, best practices, training tips, and real-life stories from over 20 ministry leaders across the US and Canada–this book has what you need to create an effective small group culture in your church.

5. STICKY FAITH

Nearly every Christian parent in America would give anything to find a viable resource for developing within their kids a deep, dynamic faith that “sticks” long term. Sticky Faith delivers. Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) conducted the “College Transition Project” in an effort to identify the relationships and best practices that can set young people on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service.

6. PURPOSE DRIVEN YOUTH MINISTRY

For the past decade, youth pastors around the world have used the bestselling Purpose Driven Youth Ministry to help guide them as they build a healthy youth ministry that is aimed at impacting the lives of teenagers. Written by renowned youth ministry expert Doug Fields, this book is one that both lay and professional youth workers cannot afford to miss.

7. MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY

Many people run scared from the middle school youth room. But (thankfully!) there are people out there who are actually drawn to those young teens. Although often times they’re not equipped to deal with the unique challenges that middle school ministry presents, or they’re just not sure what to do when a room full of young teens (who are “part child, but not quite adult”) are running around the youth room. Finally, there’s a comprehensive guide to middle school ministry, from two veterans of this unchartered territory.

8. GROWING YOUNG

Across the United States, churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults. It profiles innovative churches that are engaging 15- to 29-year- olds and as a result are growing–spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically.

9. JESUS CENTERED YOUTH MINISTRY

Inside the pages of Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry, you’ll discover the foundation for a ministry that is Jesus-centered, along with the bricks for building it. You’ll discover that not only is it possible to create this kind of ministry, it’s also essential that you pursue this path.

10. MAKE BELIEVE

In Make Believe: 5 Things Great Student Pastors Choose to Believe, Ben Crawshaw and Kevin Ragsdale unearth five ideas that combine faith and imagination plus practical steps to help leaders turn those beliefs into behaviors with the goal of reinvigorating student pastors’ hearts and ministries.

YOU CAN INFLUENCE THIS LIST!

Leave your comments below to let us know what books we’re missing or which are your favorites!