Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture  -     By: Brian H. Cosby
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Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture

P & R Publishing / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

The lights dim and the smoke rises, the band starts playing and the big screen come on. It's a familiar scene, as youth ministries everywhere use entertaining and trendy approaches to draw in teens. But when the lights go on and the fog clears, what do we find?

Far too many teenagers raised in Christian homes drift away from the church after high school. Why is this true? Might it be due to youth groups' desire to elevate experience above truth? Has left our teens summarily unsatisfied?

Brian Cosby demonstrates a ministry approach that nurtures teens and brings them back for more--one solidly grounded in Christ and patterned after the means of grace: the Word, the sacraments, prayer, service, and community. Learn how much teenagers not only need a deeper ministry, but want one too.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 1596383941
ISBN-13: 9781596383944
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

When youth groups elevate experience over truth, they drive away the teenagers they hope to attract. Here is a ministry approach, grounded in Christ and patterned after the means of grace, that brings them back.

Author Bio

Brian Cosby has been serving in youth ministry for over a decade. He is the associate pastor of youth and families at Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church, Peachtree City, Georgia, and is the author of several books.

Endorsements

If you want true success in your ministry, here is the thought-through operational blueprint.
-R. Kent Hughes,
Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

Brian Cosby demonstrates a ministry approach that nurtures teens and brings them back for more--one solidly grounded in Christ and patterned after the means of grace: the Word, sacraments, prayer, service, and community. Learn how much teenagers not only need a deeper ministry, but want one too.
-Harry Reeder,
Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Many youth ministry books are outdated almost as soon as they are published...This book is different, grounding a vision of gospel-focused youth ministry in the permanent things of apostolic Christianity.
-Russell D. Moore,
Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

For more than a generation now we have sought to attract and entertain our precious youth rather than nurture them by grace. The majority have responded by turning their backs on the church. Brian Cosby has listened to their heart and is offering us the best biblical guidance we could ever hope to receive.
-Michael Card,
award-winning singer, songwriter, and author

Brian Cosby steps forward...and does something that has been unheard of: marrying solid biblical theology to youth ministry methodology. If you are concerned on any level about seeing young people in your church build a faith that will last, then I highly recommend this book to you.
-Danny Mitchell,
Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministries, Presbyterian Church in America

As a former youth pastor, I know that most models of American youth ministry are systems of the bench and are not saturated with the Word, sacraments, and prayer. Yet these are precisely the anchors the souls of our youth need. These are precisely what Brian Cosby calls us back to. I thank God for this book.
-Daniel R. Hyde,
Pastor, Oceanside United Reformed Church, Oceanside, California

If you are serious about making a lasting impact in the lives of your youth and preparing them for the long haul of life, Means of Grace Youth Ministry is a must read. Brian Cosby understands how the ordinary means of grace changes young people, draws them closer to Christ and builds a foundation that will last.
-Rod Culbertson,
Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina

Brian Cosby believes that youth ministry should be based on the same means of grace that nurture the whole church. This book contains good theology that reflects his conviction that strong biblical doctrine will grip and transform the lives of youth (and others). So don't read this volume just as a handbook on how to minister to others--you will find yourself challenged and strengthened by reading it! I commend him for writing it, and recommend it to youth workers and others for their personal growth as well as effective ministry.
-Joseph Martin,
Professor of Biblical Studies and Ministries, Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi

In these pages, Cosby provides us with something exceedingly rare; namely, a clear, cogent and compelling articulation of biblical youth ministry! I warmly commend this book.
-Jon Payne,
Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Douglasville, Georgia

In our entertainment culture in which the church often looks like the world in order to draw the world into the church, Brian Cosby offers us a much-needed word about the identity, purpose, and strategy of effective, God-centered youth ministry. A pleasure to read, this book brims over with winsome anecdotes, gospel-driven applications, and passionate pleas to recover biblical understandings on Holy Scripture, sacraments, spiritual discipline, and Christ-like community. For those who desire the gospel of Jesus Christ to permeate the lives of a new generation, this book is a must-read.
-Christian George,
Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Assistant Professor of Religious Education, Oklahoma Baptist University

The percentage of students walking away from the church after High School is staggering. This book not only identifies the "why's" but gives applicable, biblical, ways for the church and youth leaders to address this challenge head-on. I would recommend this as a must read for anyone concerned about the next generation.
Jay Shaw,
Youth Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Editorial Reviews

For more than a generation now we have sought to attract and entertain our precious youth rather than nurture them by grace. The majority have responded by turning their backs on the church. Brian Cosby has listened to their heart and is offering us the best biblical guidance we could ever hope to receive.
For decades the church has allowed the tail to wag the dog in regards to youth ministry. We have attempted to find the answer to every problem facing teenagers by flooding money into bigger and flashier programs. The results of our efforts speak for themselves. I am thankful that Brian Cosby steps forward in Giving Up Gimmicks and does something that has been unheard of: marrying solid biblical theology to youth ministry methodology. If you are concerned on any level about seeing young people in your church build a faith that will last, then I highly recommend this book to you.
“Many youth ministry books are outdated almost as soon as they are published. That’s because these books locate the authority of the youth minister in his relevance to teen culture, an ephemeral vapor. This book is different, grounding a vision of gospel-focused youth ministry in the permanent things of apostolic Christianity. I commend this volume to pastors, youth ministers, parents, and teenagers themselves, indeed for everyone who believes our teenagers are worth the old gospel that makes everything new.”
John Williamson Nevin once critiqued Charles Grandison Finney’s revivalism by distinguishing Finney’s “system of the [anxious] bench” with historical Protestantism’s “system of the catechism.” One philosophy of ministry looks for quick results while the other looks for gradual, sustained growth. One is based on ingenious methods while the other is based on God’s methods. As a former youth pastor, I know that most models of American youth ministry are systems of the bench and are not saturated with the Word, sacraments, and prayer. Yet these are precisely the anchors that the souls of our youth need. These are precisely what Brian Cosby calls us back to. I thank God for this book.
The percentage of students walking away from the church after high school is staggering. This book not only identifies the “whys” but gives applicable, biblical ways for the church and youth leaders to address this challenge head-on. I would recommend this as a must read for anyone concerned about the next generation.
Structuring a modern youth ministry by following the contours of Scripture and keeping the body of Christ at the epicenter? What a novel idea! Yet this is just what Brian Cosby has done. And the result is radical and refreshing because the Bible remains cutting-edge in every culture. If you want true success in your ministry, here is the thought-through operational blueprint.
If you are serious about making a lasting impact in the lives of your youth and preparing them for the long haul of life, Giving up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture is a must read. Brian Cosby understands how the ordinary means of grace change young people, draw them closer to Christ, and build a foundation that will last.
Brian Cosby believes that youth ministry should be based on the same means of grace that nurture the whole church. This book contains good theology that reflects his conviction that strong biblical doctrine will grip and transform the lives of youth (and others). So don’t read this volume just as a handbook on how to minister to others—you will find yourself challenged and strengthened by reading it! I commend him for writing it, and recommend it to youth workers and others for their personal growth as well as effective ministry.
In Giving Up Gimmicks, Cosby boldly reminds the church of her God-given responsibility (and privilege) to minister to our youth on God’s terms. The means of grace—Word, sacraments, and prayer—are the verdant pastures where our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, feeds and nourishes His flock . . . youth included! In these pages, therefore, Cosby provides us with something exceedingly rare, namely, a clear, cogent, and compelling articulation of biblical youth ministry! I warmly commend this book.”
In our entertainment culture in which the church often looks like the world in order to draw the world into the church, Brian Cosby offers us a much-needed word about the identity, purpose, and strategy of effective, God-centered youth ministry. A pleasure to read, this book brims over with winsome anecdotes, gospel-driven applications, and passionate pleas to recover biblical understandings on Holy Scripture, sacraments, spiritual discipline, and Christlike community. For those who desire the gospel of Jesus Christ to permeate the lives of a new generation, this book is a must-read.
The “traditional” approach to youth ministry has treated youth like autonomous individuals unrelated to their families or the church. The youth of the church are first and foremost members of the church, “covenant children” as they’ve come to be called, because they are members of Christian families. Youth ministry, then, if properly done, is family-centered and church-centered. It trusts that God works through families and through the ordinary ministry of the church. Finally, we have in Brian Cosby’s Giving Up Gimmicks an approach that does justice to the family and the church, while providing practical helps for youth workers.

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