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Very often, when we think about student ministry we think about the mega-church student ministries that boast a hundred or more students. Watch their social media or visit their websites you'll find pictures of large groups of students doing amazing activities. But large churches with a hundred or more students isn't the norm. The norm is smaller. And, sometimes smaller can be really awesome!
Most youth workers I know serve in churches where the student ministry averages 6 to 15 students. Some churches might run as high as 20 to 30 students. This is a big difference from the 100, 150, even 200 students we often hear about at seminars, conferences, and in books or blogs. That's why I am thrilled with an exciting series of books that are now available for youth workers who serve in "smaller" church.
I was recently with a group of amazing youth workers who have found themselves working with students in "smaller" churches. As I listened to them, getting to know a little about them and their ministry, I was reminded of these books and how helpful they are.
So with my new friends in mind, I want to share these three resources written with the "smaller" church youth worker in mind.
Thriving Youth Ministry in "Smaller" Churches
99 Thoughts for Smaller Church
I love Stephanie Caro and her heart for youth workers in smaller churches. And, I love the 99 Thoughts series of books. Stephanie's 99 Thoughts for Smaller Church Youth Workers is quick and easy read. Packed full of insight, ideas, tips, and stories, you will find yourself coming back to this book over and over again. Stephanie is a friend and a leader within the "smaller" church community whose advice and experience is super valuable. Along with the book, Stephanie speaks and writes about smaller church youth ministry. Just Google Stephanie Caro.
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small(er) Church Youth Ministry
A newer book on the market, I picked up Small(er) Church Youth Ministry, No Staff, No Money, No Problem, at my last NYWC this past Fall (2017). I started reading it a few weeks ago and I am already finding it very helpful.
When describing the book Amazon says, "Smaller Church Youth Ministry highlights the big impact small churches can have on the faith journey of their young people. It is designed to encourage and help small churches start, build, and lead effective disciple-making youth ministry. Topics include a biblical foundation, practical helps, tools and activities."
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Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 25 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the student ministry director at a church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for over 21 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.