My title may be a bit dramatic, but I really feel that these two books are absolute must-owns for any youth pastor. I'm not saying that because I have friendships with both authors. I'm saying that because they are truly great books and will change the way you do some parts of your ministry.
The first book is Flimsy Ministry by Brian Siedel. This book was written to challenge the way we look at the calling of youth pastor. Too often the youth pastor is seen as the black sheep of the church staff. Brian seeks to turn that idea on its head. I promise it will shake up the way you look at being a youth pastor. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle. I bought the Kindle version and read it in about two days. I promise you won't be disappointed. Here is a link to the review I wrote on the book shortly after I finished reading it.
The second book you must buy and read is Ministering to Gay Teenagers by Shawn Harrison. With homosexuality becoming more and more accepted in our world, it is not a matter of if a student will tell you he's gay, it is when. Shawn, writing from his own personal experience, has written an incredible book on how to deal with the situation. He does so with grace and offers very practical tips on how to guide the student, the parents, and the church through what can be a very difficult and tumultuous time. Shawn was kind enough to send me a copy of the book and I read it in one day. At about 50 pages, it is well worth the investment of time and money. This book is available on your Kindle and Kindle app for iPad and iPhone. Here is a link to my review.
Please note: I am not pumping these books because I want my friends to make money (I do, but that's not why I'm doing this). I am asking you to purchase and read these books because I truly believe in the message behind these books. I know there are a lot of hurting youth pastors in the world. Trust me, I'm one of them. We are hurting because of the paradigm that we are playing into. I also know there are a lot of hurting students and parents in the world dealing with the issue of homosexuality. If we are to be God's servants to young people, we need to be adequately equipped and prepared. These two books are excellent tools to help do that.