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this is a review of Mike Yaconelli collected works.

Youth Ministry Book Review: Getting Fired For the Glory of God

Getting Fired For the Glory of God is one book with collections of Mike Yaconelli words and works.  Talk about a package deal.  When you buy this book you even get a DVD containing video and MP3 audio speeches given by Yaconelli.  Okay I am starting to sound like an info-commercial.

What I learned from Mike’s words:

What characterizes followers of Christ is that we tell the truth. I am not talking  about doctrinal truth—I am talking truth Truth: Where we talk about our strengths and weaknesses where we talk about our victories and defeats; where we talk about our successes and failures; where we talk about our answers and doubts; where we talk about our joy and depressions, where we talk about our courage and fear. (26)

We tell youth Jesus is the way, not about our 7 point doctrinal statement.  We don’t teach series on doctrinal truths, we teach series on the real Jesus.  And when we teach we be transparent, admit weakness and doubt, and we don’t pretend we have all the answers.

Modern YM has turned discipleship into principles rather than a process, activity rather than inactivity. Discipleship has become a commitment that can be measured instead of a relationship that cannot be measured. Discipleship has become a short-term program instead of a lifetime process. (55)

Jesus’ program of discipleship was simple: Hang out with the disciples; let them see you at your best and worst; spend lots of time alone; teach truths that none of your disciples can grasp at the moment; avoid crowds; go slowly; spend hours in solitude; don’t worry about opposition; ignore criticism; don’t expect immediate results. (55)

I am not a big fan of the discipleship programs and of extensive discipleship campaigns.  I don’t think it is very effective gathering a group of boys who are in the same grade and going through a curriculum because they checked “yes” on their invitation card.   I am a big fan of hanging out with students and allowing them to see into my world, which they will quickly conclude I am not that spiritual….  Discipleship is living a life and reflecting about it with other people and watching the spirit transform.

May God give us a new generation of youth workers, un-intimidated by denominations and institutions, who refuse to be held hostage to paychecks and who believe it’s their calling to rescue this generation from the jaws of a comfortable, compliant, lifeless religion so they can proudly introduce this generation to the unstable, captivation, erratic, wondrous, inconsistent, irregular, noble, and outrageous, glorious life of a disciple of Christ. (67)

Routine deadens our imaginations (139)

I am a recovering religion addict.  I was a religion addict for about 4 years.  It is sooooo easy to fall into the systematic traps every church has.  A church organization organizes our ministry life, which includes several pointless meetings and returning complaining parent emails how we need to change our youth group night because little Timmy has too much homework on Tuesday night.  Playing the church political game is pointless and only will destroy you.

Mike request every youth pastor do these 7 things:

1.  Write into your job description: TIME ALONE WITH JESUS

2.  Ask for a book budget that’s separate from your youth ministry book budget

3.  Suggest that the staff get together weekly or even daily for communion to help everybody remember their calling

4.  Find a wise older person who’ll agree to meet with you regularly to help you listen what God is saying in your life

5.  Journal regularly (moleskins are preferred : ) )

6.  Ask the staff to brainstorm ways to increase the percentage of time during staff meetings spent talking about their relationship with Jesus

7.  Suggest that the staff have annual spiritual retreats

Other youth ministry book reviews:

Marko.  YM 3.0

Chap Clark. Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers

Mike King. Presence-Centered Youth Ministry

Chris Folmsbee. A New Kind of Youth Ministry

Mike Yaconelli.  Getting Fired For the Glory of God

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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