Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review - Flimsy Ministry by Brian Seidel

If someone was to ask you to describe a youth pastor, how would you do it? Would you describe him as the goofy guy who wears his hat backward and whose office is a disaster? Would you describe him as the staff member who is most likely to destroy the church van?

This is often the way that most youth pastors are described and thought of. In Flimsy Ministry, Brian Seidel describes the common view of the youth pastor as the "paradigm" and he seeks to overcome that view. Describing the common view of youth ministry as a house of cards, Brian describes each card in the house and offers a plan to help pull that card from the house.

Perhaps the strongest part of the book is the inclusion of many personal stories, both his own and those of others. Perhaps the most encouraging, and devastating, one was that of a youth pastor who was nearly destroyed by his job and was able to live to tell about it.

Seidel looks at many of the issues with youth ministry, examines the common thoughts about that particular issue, then offers ways to overcome that particular issue. The one that resonated the most with me was the idea of using youth ministry as a stepping stone to another ministry. I have been accused of this in the past and it was hurtful. I appreciated the mindset that he encourages of being a youth pastor until God takes me somewhere else. More youth pastors should have this thought.

My only complaint about the book was the formatting. I do not believe this to be the fault of Seidel, but it was not properly formatted in the Kindle format. This takes nothing away from the content, but does make it a bit difficult to read at times.

Flimsy Ministry is a much needed book. I would recommend that youth pastors read it and share it with their senior pastors. There is much to be discussed in the book.

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