Lead Them to Jesus: A Handbook for Youthworkers, by Mike McGarry, is another must read by McGarry. It truly is a handbook, a strong resource for both the professional youthworker and the members of the volunteer team. At only 192 pages, it is an easy read. McGarry divides the book into two sections; the first half walks the reader through 17 critical biblical truths. I love this section; if you’ve ever been caught off guard by a student with questions about why God allows suffering, who is God, what happens when someone commits suicide, and so on, this handbook provides a quick reference point to find answers.
The second half of the book tackles practical help for the youthworker; how to start a youth ministry, handling discipline, planning a calendar, talking about sex – there are 23 short chapters with topics like these. Super helpful for the new youth worker, but also a great refresher for the experienced leader as well.
Throughout the book the reader sees McGarry’s love for the integrity and importance of scripture. I love his admonition, “Patiently teaching good theology to students, however, makes a significant impact because it shapes their view of God. Don’t underestimate what teenagers (yes, even middle school boys) are able to comprehend.” Too many think the Bible needs to be dumbed down or simplified for young people – all this does is teach them to not take it seriously. Young people are hungry for depth, for truth.
Lead Them to Jesus: A Handbook for Youthworkers is an important resource. It’s a great tool for a leader to get for each of their team members, both as a reference guide as issues and needs come up, but also as a training tool to work through together. I highly recommend!