Birthed in the cauldron of frustration and possibility, youth worker and author April L. Diaz took a big risk when a staff position opened in youth ministry at her church. She led her church by asking some tough questions:
- What if we changed this position from a Youth Pastor to Student Integration Pastor?
- And what if this was more than a job title, but a change in the way our church views its relationship with teenagers?
- What if we don’t just hire a youth ministry Pied Piper to isolate our teenagers, but hire a youth ministry champion who won’t let the congregation forget about her responsibility for the spiritual formation of the teenagers in our midst?
Equal parts intervention, idealism, memoir and guide, this tiny book packs a punch you’ll be thinking about and wrestling with well beyond the final page.
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This book is a refreshing invitation to re-imagine both the depth and praxis of youth ministry and the Church. It's filled with many compelling reasons and inspiring stories of why one church chose to live differently for the sake of young people. Truly admirable and worth reading.
Charles Lee, CEO of Ideation & Author of Good Idea. Now What?
April is a youth ministry hero. She has a proven track record as an innovative leader and advocate/disciple-maker of kids and teens. In this book she shares her secrets and insights into developing an out-of-the-box leadership strategy that keeps kids grounded in faith over the long haul. This is a youth ministry must-read!
Dr. Steve Gerali, Globally recognized expert in the field of adolescence and youth ministry and award winning author of the book series, What Do I Do When Teenagers...
April is one of the sharpest people I know, and it shows in this fantastic little book! In these pages she will encourage you, challenge you, motivate you and at times frustrate you...which is why you will be glad you read it. Thanks, April, for moving the youth ministry ball a little further down the field!”
Kurt Johnston, Pastor to Students, Saddleback Church
In Redefining the Role of the Youth Worker, April Diaz invites us on a journey of ministry reformation, as she translates the findings of the Sticky Faith research project into a model that actually works in the real-life trenches of youth ministry. There is little doubt that now is the time for bold experimentation around the dream of building student ministries that actually build life-long faith in the next generation, and April is one of the early cartographers of the the future landscape of youth ministry.
Mark DeVries, Author of Family-Based Youth Ministry, Founder of Ministry Architects
The contemporary church models we employ today emerged from the youth ministry models of the 1960s and 70s. Similarly, the future of the church is being shaped today by the new models of youth ministry being explored. Diaz takes us on a journey through her own church's changing understanding of student development and in the process provides more than a new model of youth ministry, but a new vision for the church itself.
Skye Jethani, Author of The Divine Commodity and WITH, Editor, Speaker, Consultant and Pastor