LIFE IN STUDENT MINISTRY by Tim Schmoyer is a great book for anyone starting out in working in youth ministry. He covers many foundational and practical topics such as what to do in your first youth meeting, determining if you're called to youth ministry, how to recruit volunteers effectively, and how to handle youth ministry finances, among many others.
Schmoyer has been writing a blog on youth ministry for many years that has been a very helpful resource for those who work in youth ministry. The book is a compilation of his most important pieces of youth ministry advice. He writes in a very conversational style, which has the blog entry feel.
Another unique feature of the book is the inclusion of comments by other youth ministry workers after each section. While I liked the idea of this, many of the comments gave me the feeling of being at a youth pastors' conference. Specifically, I've found that many times as I'm sitting in a youth ministry conference led by a credible voice in youth ministry, many of the youth pastors in the room seem to feel the need to interrupt the speaker and inject their thoughts into the time allotted to the speaker. It has always struck me as arrogant, and the comments in the book gave me that same feel. Of course, I realize that these were genuine comments to posts on the blog, but I think the book would have been helped without many of them. For example, in a section about parents grounding their teens from youth ministry, one commenter mentioned that parents grounding their teens from church because it's fun for them was one of the lamest excuses he's ever heard. I can understand his frustration, but without understanding what the parent goes through, having that mindset is a complete invalidation of what the parent is going through, and it's not very helpful.
Other than the comments throughout the book, I thought LIFE IN STUDENT MINISTRY was a great resource for youth ministry workers.
I received this book for free for review from Zondervan.