The Top 10 “Must Have” Student Ministry Books

The top 10 must have student ministry books blog postBooks are a great way for you to learn how to practically do student ministry! I try to read several new student ministry books throughout the year. Here are the top “must have” student ministry books that I recommend:

purpose driven youth ministry book


1. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields





sustainable youth ministry


 2. Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries





3. Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields





The Greenhouse Project


 4. The Greenhouse Project by Mike Calhoun





Think Orange


5. Think Orange by Reggie Joiner





The Seven Checkpoints


 6. Checkpoints by Andy Stanley





More than dodgeball


7. More than Dodgeball by Josh Griffin







8. Twisdom by Matt Lawson





Life in Student Ministry


 9. Life in Student Ministry by Tim Schmoyer





Raising the Bar


 10. Raising the Bar by Alvin Reid





Honorable Mentions: “Do they run when they see you coming” by Jonathan McKee; “A disconnected Generation” by Josh McDowell.

Question: What Student Ministry books would you add to this list? Please leave them in the comment section below, we would love to hear what books have helped shape your student ministry philosophy.

12 thoughts on “The Top 10 “Must Have” Student Ministry Books

  1. I think “Sticky Faith” by Kara Powell, “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley, and “Gospel” by JD Greear would be out of the box mentions. In that they really don’t make sense in the ministry-helps category, but they will drastically improve your perspective and change your methods.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. Great book list, and as you pointed out, I kept mine pertaining to student ministry directly, but I would have to say Gospel by Greear is the best book that I read in 2012. I am still scheduled to read Deep and Wide, and Sticky Faith.

  2. Great list. I really want to check out Mark Devries’ book. Here are a few that I learned a ton from in the six months: Youth Ministry Nuggets by Bill Nance, Deep and Wide/Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley, Lead Small by Reggie Joiner. Thanks for the list, I will add a few to my list. Doug Fields’ books were the most helpful for me and my team by far.

  3. In the short time i’ve been a youth pastor I’d say no other book has helped me lay a good foundation than “Youth Ministry By the Book” by Roger Glidewell. It’s a great book for someone who has no idea what they’re doing, and helps answer the question why we do what we do.

    1. Oh man, I have been wanting to read his book, but have not gotten around to it. Thanks for the reminder about it Ben! Heard it is great, and I personally am a big fan of Glidewell!

  4. Josh,

    Great list man! All of these are great books. I have read most of them. 7 Checkpoints is a great resource for student pastors. We actually use that model for our teaching strategy with our students.


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