an interesting downloadable youth ministry book
Wednesday February 28th 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: youth ministry, books, youth work

lsmbookMEDIUM.jpgfor years, internet prognostocators have been predicting that the web will change the face of publishing, because anyone can publish whatever they want, without jumping through the traditional publishing hoops. of course, this is causing us at youth specialties, and publishers everywhere, to rethink some things. the wild success of blogging and youtube have proven the “throw it up there, and if it’s good, people will find it” construct. but blogs are limited in terms of developing longer cogent thinking. and, other than organizations and companies that are dipping their toes into the downloadable world (like we are at ys with our ysunderground downloadable site), i haven’t seen many truly downloadable books that are purely created outside a traditional editorial process.

but scott aughtmon has created one. scott interview — via email — 14 youth ministry leaders (myself included), using a standard template of questions (which provides interesting contrast and overlapping threads in the responses), and compiled the whole thing into a book called How To Build A Lasting Student Ministry (you can download the book at that link, for $12.97). i’m sure many will wish for a different, or more expanded list of contributors — but it’s scott’s book, and he got to choose (that’s part of the point here, really). as you’ll see from my responses in the book, some might even wish for a different set of questions. but, again, it’s scott’s book, and he gets to choose. in that sense, this book — and publishing like this — has the potential to be both more unique (publishers have a bit of a tendancy, whether they intend to or not, to “lowest common denominator-ize” books, in the hopes that they’ll connect with a wider audience), as well as narrower in its helpfulness. i’m not saying that to bag on scott’s book at all — just the opposite: i think he’s like the bow of an ice-breaking ship, plowing into into the publishing-world ice-shelf.

here’s the list of contributors:
Jonathan McKee
Mark Oestreicher
Jason Gerdes
Jonathan Herron
Wes Black
Brenda Seefeldt
Dave Keehn
Greg Stier
Nigel James
Ben Hardman
Brad Baker
Chuckk Gerwig
Jeff Slack
Katie Edwards

you may not be familiar with all these people — i wasn’t. but their bios show that why scott chose them. and their responses are diverse enough to provide some good fodder for thought.

and here’s scott’s description of the book:

Based on an imaginary situation, I asked these top student leader some simple questions:

1.What are two common mistakes most pastors make when starting a student ministry that you would make sure not to make?

2.What methods/steps would you use to lay a strong foundation that would last beyond your time there?

3.What is one method/system you would use to see numerical growth as quickly as possible?

4.What is one method/system you would use to see lasting spiritual growth?

you can read more about the book on the website. but, i applaud scott for his perseverance on this project, and for “going offroad” in his desire to get youth ministry thinking into the hands of youth workers.

5 Comments so far
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Marko - I was the guy who ran into you, Tic, and Karla at the Mukuba Hotel in Ndola, Zambia in ‘05 - remember?

Anyhow, it was fun doing this e-book project!

Comment by Jonathan 02.28.07 @ 2:13 pm

jonathan! totally remember meeting you there. you were with (are you still?) my brother-in-law’s brother’s church (chris dunlap), in plymouth or canton or somewhere like that. are you still there?

Comment by marko 02.28.07 @ 2:42 pm

hey marko - you need to change your profile picture!! every time i see a more recent photo of yo - i realise how old your profile one is!


Comment by Dave Miers 02.28.07 @ 4:28 pm

dave, that’s hilarious. i think of that about every month or two. but then i change how i look again, and i realize that whatever i put up there will be out of date by the time it’s live! that pic on matt’s site for the book is already out of date, and it was taken at christmas. :)

Comment by marko 02.28.07 @ 4:51 pm

I love ebooks. At first I thought the price was a bit to close to what a traditional book would cost but when you factor in the ability to email it or share it with other youth leaders in your church its a fair price. I rarely pay full price for books, I usually search for them used first then wait for a good sale. There is just so much good stuff out there that I have to prioritize my time and money. I want to see ebooks succeed but just like music I have a hard time paying just as much for an electronic copy as I would for a real physical cd or book.

Comment by Tim Hower 03.01.07 @ 10:26 am

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