Ebook Review: “How to build a Lasting Student Ministry”

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Lasting Student Ministry

Scott Aughtmon was nice enough to send me a copy of his new ebook, How to Build a Lasting Student Ministry, to review for you guys.

He starts by observing that Jesus’ ministry lived long beyond his earthly leadership, that he reproduced leaders to carry on the ministry and that he provided them with the authority to accomplish all that he had called them to do. Jesus took men “off the street” and taught them to have a faith that impacted the kingdom throughout history. Unfortunately, in youth groups across America, students are involved in church, but aren’t being impacted to be the spiritual leaders this generation needs. Jesus started a lasting ministry that still affects us today and Scott wants to see that continue to happen through our youth ministries.

His ebook is based on the following scenario and four questions:

You are snatched from yo current church (or other current job) and put at a church in the suburbs where you have to start all over again. There are five kids there. Two are the senior pastor’s kids. There are three boys and two girls. Two are in High School and three are in Junior High. You are asked to build a ministry that will continue on after you leave. You have one year to do this. You have a limited budget.

  1. What are two common mistakes most pastors make when starting a youth ministry that you would be careful to avoid?
  2. What methods/steps would you use to lay a strong foundation that would last beyond you time there?
  3. What is the 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?
  5. What follows in the ebook are the responses of 14 well-known youth workers who share their insights from decades of experience and wisdom. Contributors include Mark Oestreicher, Jonathan McKee, Greg Stier, and more.

    Scott’s ebook is full of great tips. Little nuggets of wisdom are scattered throughout, as you might expect from some of these authors. Plus, after you get through the first couple pages, the content is fairly skimmable. So if you’re in search of some specific information, it shouldn’t be too hard to find. And while the information is clear and concise, the best part is that it’s all so very practical. There’s not a lot of theoretical ideas or philosophical debates — it’s all down-to-earth, good ideas that can be implemented into any youth ministry.

    However, first impressions mean a lot to me and at first glance the ebook looks a lot like a college term paper. I opened the PDF and saw nothing put plain text in Arial 12-point font with lots of spacing. This left me with two feelings. The first was, “Oh man, where do I start with this?” and the second was, “Is this thing credible?” If I hadn’t agreed to review it for him, I probably wouldn’t have continued to read it, but I’m glad I did. This is a classic example that I should not judge a book by it’s cover.

    Just One note: be careful not to confuse outreach with recruitment. Evangelism should be done with a burden for lost souls, not for the purpose of building a larger youth group. Nowhere does How to Build a Lasting Student Ministry suggest otherwise, but the vibe may tend to come across that way.

    Anyone just starting out in youth ministry with a brand new group will benefit from Scott’s ebook, although veterans can also stand to be reminded of much of the content it contains.

    The ebook isn’t free — it’ll cost ya $12.97, but Scott allows owners to freely redistribute the ebook to all staff and leaders on their team and throws in a couple extra bonuses, as well. If his scenario and questions appeal to you, then I suggest that the money is worth the purchase.

    Click here to for more information on the book or to pick up a copy for yourself.

    [tags]How to Build a Lasting Student Ministry, Scott Aughtmon, ebook[/tags]

    Posted on March 22, 2007

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