"Most contemporary young people operate far enough from Moses’ moral compass that it never occurs to them that “OMG” (“oh my God,” in teenspeak) has anything to do with the Ten Commandments, much less that it breaks one of them. After all, the phrase is a nearly ubiquitous adolescent throw-away line...Yet Christians should hear the phrase “oh my God” differently. Youth ministers, parents, teachers—anyone who has ever loved an adolescent—know that “OMG” can be a prayer, a plea, a petition, a note of praise, or an unbidden entreaty that escapes our lips as we seek Christ for the young people we love." from the book
Using six lens the authors detail current practices and tease out underlying questions as youth ministry becomes more self-consciously aligned with practical theology.
Contributors include: Kenda Creasy Dean, Mike Carotta, Roland Martinson, Rodger Nishioka, Don Richter, Dayle Gillespie Rounds, and Amy Scott Vaughn.
"If you’ve been wondering whether youth ministry is really making any difference, it’s not just you. OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook raises all the hard (and right) questions, catapulting the conversation beyond the survivalist’s mentality that has kept so much of today’s youth ministry stuck in patterns that simply don’t work. In a field fractured by hyperbole and wishful thinking, Kenda Dean offers a deliberate and winsomely disciplined alternative for imagining and practicing youth ministry."
--Mark DeVries, Founder of Youth Ministry Architects and youth pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
"Kenda Dean’s OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook raises the level of ministerial discourse about youth ministry and the young church! It is a kaleidoscope through which our ministry can be examined--twist between haunting questions, daunting challenges, enduring themes, and the other chapters and different views of our ministry emerges. This is an exciting and valuable resource for all committed to young people." -- Robert J. McCarty, Executive Director, National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Washington D.C.
Every page of OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook possess the fingerprints of Kenda Creasy Dean, which is to say that every page is rich intellectually and yet practical in disposition. And much like Kenda and her contributors, it is as welcoming as it is probing and thoughtful. Its main vehicle is the question, and they invite you with every page turn to lay your own questions on top of their questions. Picking up this textbook will never feel like a burden, rather in its chapters you will find open space to climb inside and think along with the authors about youth ministry--a youth ministry that is focused on the whole congregation.
Dean and her colleagues have assessed the milieu of teenagers, popular culture, and the church to ask: What is essential for leaders to foster a wholesome spirituality in adolescents? Alas, a youth ministry “handbook” that has theological integrity and practical depth. --Evelyn L. Parker, PhD., Associate Professor of Christian Education, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas