7. reThink by Steven Wright
In one of our very first promotional meetings for the inaugural D6 Conference, in late 2008, I sat with a group of ministers who recommended Steven Wright’s reThink. I like this book for two reasons. One–its fresh and relevant data is practical to help us “rethink” how we are doing student ministry. Two–it’s coming from another fresh young voice in the overall conversation of driving faith at home. Do you need to rethink your kids’ or student ministry?
6. Family-Based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries
Truly a modern day classic! Nearly everywhere I go, I hear ministers recommending this title. It’s a fast read and packed with effective, biblical, and practical content for upper elementary age ministers, middle school ministers and student ministers.
5. Visionary Parenting by Rob Rienow
Many children’s and student ministers find themselves pouring all of their hearts and efforts into the ministry of making disciples with other people’s kids but have no real plan as to how to disciple their own at home. This is exactly what happened to Rob Rienow. God changed his heart and he began living out the D6 life at home as a father first. Out of this came the Visionary Parenting experience that Rob has been sharing around the country for a few years now. This book is an enlightening and inspiring read. Buy one copy for yourself and ten additional copies to pass along to key parents whom you lead.
4. Building Faith at Home by Mark Holmen
There is an abundant amount of research that shows church programs can only do so much to strengthen and encourage students in their faith. The influence of the family and connected parents is so much more effective in faith transference from one generation to the next. If this is true, what changes should be made in our discipleship process at church from birth to young adulthood? In Building Faith at Home, Mark Holmen shares how he (as a Sr. Pastor) made family ministry a top priority. Would you like to see how to weave a faith at home ministry into the DNA of your church? Buy a copy of this for yourself and another copy for your senior pastor.
3. Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions by George Barna
There is perhaps no other book that has been more read by faith at home children’s ministers today than this one title. It’s rare that I run into a children’s minister who hasn’t read this book, but when I do, I immediately place them in a full nelson and make them promise me they will buy it that day! I consider this book one of the more recent catalysts to the faith at home tipping point.
2. Think Orange by Reggie Joiner
WOW! This is such a dynamic read! Reggie Joiner has lived this stuff as a dad and cofounded one of the most influential ministries in the church that helps churches partner with parents to develop the next generation of Christ followers. As one of the original cofounders of North Point Church and the founder of the reThink Group, there is perhaps no other NextGen leader who has had a greater impact in helping churches change the way they disciple students. What’s cool is that Reggie shares much of what he has learned along that journey in this book!
1. Shift: What it takes to finally reach families today by Brian Haynes
I think the thing that makes Shift so timely and refreshing is that Brian Haynes is just a normal person just like you and me. Well sure, he has a Ph. D, is an avid outdoorsman, a teacher of scripture on Middle Eastern tours, and an author. Other than that, he’s just a normal guy! Seriously, Shift is a reliable, must read book for all children’s ministers, because it does three things really well. One–it will challenge you to step up and be the parent (or potential future parent) you need to be based on the Shemah. Two–it will challenge you to rethink and reengineer the way you do spiritual formation at your church. Three–the ancient path that Brian Haynes is calling us to is not just a theory. It’s a practical life discipleship model for churches and parents that many ministers can adapt, adopt, or use as an inspiration to develop their own faith at home model.