Why would a hard partying senior land in Pakistan as a missionary? Or a discouraged, cut-from-3-teams freshman pioneer a sports ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel? T's the same reason we see frozen hearts thawed, wounded souls healed, young leaders mentored, and searching minds grounded in faith-every year. Its because people like you choose to love our students in Jesus' name. You make a life changing difference in the lives of students. No professional degrees are required and no special gifting is necessary. It's all about God using your influence.
Are the young people in your church coming to faith in Christ? Are they following Him as disciples? The elders and leaders of every church should be able to answer "yes" to both questions. It's a crucial aspect of their role as shepherds. So how can a group of men confidently affirm that their young people are growing mature in Christ?
This is the purpose of YOUthWORK. Featuring hard-won insights and proven strategies drawn from twenty-five years of working with thousands of students, this practical guide will equip parents, volunteers, and full-time youth workers to shepherd young people toward maturity in Christ. It provides church leaders with a framework for understanding the how's and why's of youth ministry and features dozens of hands-on ideas for ministry.
In his twenty-plus years of youthwork, DON PEARSON has been kicked out of restaurants, left kids behind in airports, lost ten thousand dollars on a single event, totaled a borrowed vehicle, and caught a sailboat on fire. The ministry he oversees has lost kids in the mountains, driven a bus through a glass toll booth in Mexico with armed guards pointing machine guns at the windows, and rescued kids getting stung by jellyfish in the dark waters off the Spanish Virgin Islands. During this time, God has faithfully extended the range of his ministry from six kids in the eighties to over six hundred today. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Cornerstone University, and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Don now spends most of his time overseeing the youth ministry of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church. His emphasis is on reaching, discipling, and equipping young people for spiritual leadership in the church and the world. Don and his wife have three grown children and reside near Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A veteran of the publishing industry by day, PAUL SANTHOUSE has been involved in youthwork as a parent and volunteer since being recruited to captain a sailboat back in 2000 (see chapter 6, Take Trips). A graduate of Moody Bible Institute and The King's College (New York), Paul and his wife, Rebecca, have two sons, three daughters, and a daughter-in-law. They live near Chicago, Illinois.
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