I’ve been reading through Todd Outcalt’s new book, The $5 Youth Ministry. And yes, I’ve heard all the jokes about the book costing more than the title ($9.99), but for all the ideas in it, it’s a GREAT deal. I like his style in how he laid the book out; it’s almost 200 pages of idea after idea, all costing around $5 to pull off, and everyone of them is categorized in several different ways making it very easy to track down specific types of ideas. The categories Outcalt uses are: Activities, Camp/Retreat, Food, Games, Ice Breakers, Mission/Outreach, Support (fundraising), Teaching, and Worship. The categories are all indexed at the beginning of the book, making it easy to skim through and track down your specific needs, which I liked.
There are countless similar resources out there; my shelf is full of different books packed with student ministry ideas. What separates this one from the rest is that every idea in it is low cost, or even free. I like that I don’t find myself worrying about how much of a hit my budget will take if I use one of his ice breakers or games. The book is easy to navigate, well written, with a ton of solid ideas. Over the last year my student ministry budget has taken a significant hit, making this a very timely resource worth grabbing.