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Top 8 Books for Youth Worker Development and Growth

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Do you feel a call to youth leadership but wonder how you can be an effective youth worker? Youth ministry requires commitment and a Christ-centered heart, but it also requires that you continue your own growth in being a good leader. Here are some books that offer inspiration and techniques to help you learn and grow:

1. Youth Aflame: Manual for Discipleship

If you do not know about Winkie Pratney's work, you need to learn now. As one of the foremost experts in youth ministry, Winkie's first book is one of the best guidelines for developing young disciples that are "on fire" for Christ. He combines a New Testament message, strategy, and teaching method to offer a plan of instruction that can be used in youth ministry to promote discipleship.
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2. Ultimate CORE: Church on the Radical Edge

Winkie Pratney continues to inspire youth workers with his insight into the workings of youth ministry and student life. "The CORE" is about getting to the heart of youth ministry to raise students that have a deep faith and actionable heart. Written by Winkie Pratney and Trevor Yaxley, the book addresses a number of topics that students face in this millennium in a way that empowers leaders to be effective and powerful Christians.
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3. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry

If you haven't heard of Winkie Pratney, you may have heard of Doug Fields, another prominent expert in youth ministry. If you have found it your calling to reach out to students and see God change their lives, Doug Fields uses fundamentals like evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship to create healthy ministry.
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4. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide

A sequel to the popular "Purpose Driven Youth Ministry," Doug Fields helps youth workers take the first steps in developing a healthy youth ministry. It is a helpful guide if you are new to ministry or want to add a new fire to your current ministry.
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5. Handbook on Counseling Youth: A Comprehensive Guide for Equipping Youth Workers

Many potential youth workers avoid getting into youth ministry because they are afraid of facing the crises that Christian teens face. This book is an easy-to-use guide for anyone who is not quite sure how to approach teens facing things like emotional issues, abuse, addictions, family problems, and more.
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6. The Be-With Factor: Mentoring Students in Everyday Life

Offering practical mentoring approaches that are patterned after Jesus' example of being with his disciples in a variety of real-life settings, Bo Boshers and Judson Poling offer a new way to reach out to students. By showing the impact of your faith in everyday life, the authors show how each person has the potential to reach an entire generation - one student at a time.
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7. Small Group Strategies: Ideas & Activities for Developing Spiritual Growth

Charley Scandlyn and Laurie Polich offer strategies that will help you develop meetings and activities that help push students faith to the next level. The book offers a tool-based approach to increase your students' spiritual maturity.
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8. Shaping the Spiritual Life of Students: A Guide for Youth Workers

Set the pace with your students so that spiritual growth occurs along with natural maturity. Richard Dunn offers pacing techniques so that leaders move at the right pace with sensitivity to the unique spiritual issues that occur during teen development from junior high through college.
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