Youth ministry is about much more than Sunday night Bible study and lock-ins. It's about changing the lives of youth and empowering young heroes to change their world. Here is a model for holistic ministry that addresses all the needs of students--body, soul and spirit. Powerful stories from the author's urban, multiethnic context shape the context of this book, while the principles within are designed to serve the whole body of Christ.
How can you move beyond youth group? You already know that youth ministry is about much more than Sunday night Bible study and lock-ins. It's about changing the lives of youth and empowering young heroes to change their world. In this book Efrem Smith provides you with a model for holistic ministry that addresses all the needs of youth--body, soul and spirit. Powerful stories from Smith's urban multiethnic context shape the content of Raising Up Young Heroes. He shows how the fashion, music and lifestyle of the hip-hop culture are permeating youth culture and how you can enter that culture to help your youth meet Jesus. The principles that are the foundation of Raising Up Young Heroes are designed to serve the whole body of Christ. So whatever your own youth group context, you can benefit from the Smith's rich storehouse of experience and his huge heart for today's youth.
Efrem Smith is president and CEO of World Impact. As a preacher, motivational speaker and author, Smith is internationally recognized for his passion to see lasting life transformation, revitalized communities and further Kingdom advancement within churches. He also consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership and community development for churches and educational institutions. Serving as founding pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Smith also co-founded and was president of The Sanctuary Community Development Corporation. He served as superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, providing leadership to 160 churches within California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah. An itinerant speaker and preacher with Kingdom Building Ministries and the Evangelical Covenant Church, he has been a keynote speaker for such events as Athletes in Action, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth Specialties, Compassion International, Thrive and CHIC. He is the author of , and . Smith is a graduate of Saint John's University and Luther Theological Seminary. He is currently seeking his doctorate in Church Leadership from Bethel Seminar. He and his wife Donecia, along with their two children, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Efrem Smith has committed much of his life to challenging and equipping ordinary young people to live extraordinary lives of influence. And that's what Raising Up Young Heroes is all about. It's a practical guide to helping teens become spiritual influencers--heroes for God--in their neighborhoods, schools, churches and anywhere that God has given them influence. It flows from Efrem's years of ministry experience and his passion to see young people live up to their God-given potential as kingdom builders. Come catch his contagious enthusiasm and grab hold of his powerful insights!"
"Informative, practical and relevant are the words that come to mind as I reflect on Raising Up Young Heroes. Efrem's story-telling style of sharing biblical truth and words of encouragement to today's youth worker is on point! I am appreciative of his efforts to empower adult leaders with tools to minister to multiethnic diverse youth populations."
"Raising Up Young Heroes is on point! Once you read it you'll want to get out there where teens really live and help them embark on a journey that can ultimately CHANGE THEIR WORLD. Efrem has captured a timely truth in these pages that the church desperately needs to hear. Based on biblical principles, these practical solutions will inspire, inform and equip parents, youth workers and pastors to become the revolution."
"In a youth ministry world where what normally passes for new is really recycled stuff from the 70s and 80s, Efrem Smith stands out: he's an original thinker. Sure, people have thrown around the word holistic for a while, but Efrem shows us how to implement a real-life ministry that truly is just that."
"Raising Up Young Heroes prods us to a whole new way of looking at youth ministry. Efrem's life has been all about seeing the potential of young people in a variety of ministry contexts, and he calls youth workers everywhere to stir a generation of lively young revolutionaries into action. His whole- person approach to ministry moves us beyond programs and activities into a relational approach that sees kids as fully integrated beings who can and will change their world. This is an invitation to proclaim to contemporary students a genuine gospel of the kingdom that touches every area of their lives and frees them to serve their world as God intended."
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