Family-Based Youth Ministry, By Mark DeVries
Family-Based Youth Ministry
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: April 06, 2004
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3243
  • ISBN: 9780830832439

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Have you tried all the new youth programs? Have you planned one too many wacky activities? Are you frustrated about the size of the youth group? Here's an approach to ministry that takes youth work seriously.

Family-based youth ministry is about adults discipling teens one-on-one and in groups. It is about involving not just the nuclear family but the whole church family--from singles to older adults. More important, it's about incorporating youth into the life of your church.

So stop worrying about the size of your youth group or your budget. Mark DeVries's refreshing approach to youth ministry will show you how your church can reach today's teens and how you can keep them involved in the life of the church. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor or a church member who cares about teens, you will find in this book an entirely different approach to youth ministry that will build mature Christian believers.

"I appreciate Mark's thoroughness and desire to risk as well as his venture into uncharted territory. Effective youth ministry has always begun in this way. I endorse his premise and support the idea that youth ministry is in a new day requiring new approaches."

Cliff Anderson, Interim Director, Institute for Youth Ministry

"Family ministry as a concept is spreading rapidly throughout the youth ministry culture. Mark DeVries's work demonstrates that he has been and will continue to be a pioneer and pacesetter for that movement."

Richard Dunn, Chairman, Department of Youth Ministry, Trinity College

"This important book by a seasoned minister to youth argues for a Christian approach to young people by way of families--nuclear and ecclesial--rather than pied pipers. It is thoughtful, suggestive and groundbreaking."

Thomas W. Gillespie, President, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Mark DeVries has given us a very clear and readable rationale for rooting our youth ministry within the family structure. This will be one of those books that youth workers find they must read."

Duffy Robbins, Chairman, Department of Youth Ministry, Eastern College

"Mark is candid, honest, realistic, practical and down to earth! Family-Based Youth Ministry is a great resource and a must-read for all youth workers and parents. "

Russell J. Sanche, National Director, KKI Canada, Youth With A Mission

"Mark DeVries has done us all a great and necessary favor by thinking through what's for too long been a missing link in youth ministry. When we fail to consider the primary role parents play in the spiritual nurture of their children, we can make the mistake of assuming we can fill that role. Family-Based Youth Ministry will challenge and guide you to build families and stimulate the spiritual growth of students by consciously engaging, rather than ignoring, student's families. I continually point youth workers to this valuable and timely resource."

Walt Mueller, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"The revised Family-Based Youth Ministry is must reading for pastors and youth workers. The additional insights build from the shoulders of his groundbreaking reframing of youth ministry done a decade ago. In so doing Mark DeVries integrates more than ten years of experimentation and reflection into a cohesive concept of family-based youth ministry."

Mark H. Senter III, Professor of Youth and Educational Ministries, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Welcome to the book that put family-based youth ministry on the map. Mark DeVries--as only he can do it--points out that the task of nurturing faith belongs to the family, not the youth group, and the sooner the church becomes an 'extended' family for young people, the better chance youth have of becoming mature Christian adults. With the wisdom of a pastor, the insight of a theologian, the sympathy of a parent and the humor of your favorite youth counselor, Family-Based Youth Ministry makes gracious, thoughtful ministry look second-nature. If only we had all read it sooner."

Kenda Creasy Dean, Associate Professor of Youth, Church and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Director, Tennent School of Christian Education

"When I am asked to recommend one book that every youth worker must read, that's a no-brainer. I tell them to get Family-Based Youth Ministry. It's without question the most important youth ministry book of the past ten years."

Wayne Rice, cofounder, Youth Specialties, and director, Understanding Your Teenager

"This is the book we have been waiting for. Mark DeVries brings us a wealth and depth of understanding of the youth culture that few in America can provide. He is taking the necessary step of moving us from 'traditional youth ministry' into a different style of youth work that is desperately needed."

Jim Burns, president, National Institute of Youth Ministry

"Mark is absolutely right in his assessment of the direction youth ministry needs to go in the future. This is definitely one of the most important books on youth ministry that has ever been written."

Wayne Rice, cofounder, Youth Specialties

"This is the book we have been waiting for. Mark DeVries brings us a wealth and depth of understanding of the youth culture that few in America can provide. He is taking the necessary step of moving us from 'traditional youth ministry' into a different style of youth work that is desperately needed."

Jim Burns, president, National Institute of Youth Ministry


1. Something's Wrong: The Crisis in Traditional Youth Ministry
2. Is Anybody Out There? The Growth of Teenage Isolation
3. The Developmental Disaster: The Impact of Teenage Isolation
4. Sitting on a Gold Mine: The Power of the Nuclear Family
5. The Critical Care Unit: The Peculiar Crisis in Today's Christian Family
6. Stacking the Stands: The Power of the Extended Christian Family
7. It Only Makes Sense: The Vision of Family-Based Youth Ministry
8. Beyond the Cleavers: The Challenge and Opportunity of Ministry to Nontraditional Families
9. Walking the Tightrope: Family-Based Youth Ministry and the Developmenatal Need for Independence
10. A Different Gospel: Youth Culture Comes to Church
11. God Calling: Thinking Theologically about Youth Ministry
12. Making it Work: Implementing a Family-Based Youth Ministry
Appendix A: A Matter of Perspective
Appendix B: Has the Traditional Family Really Died?
Appendix C: 19 Models for Youth Ministry
Appendix D: 122 Family-Based Youth Ministry Programming Ideas
Appendix E: Bridges: A Family-Based Curriculum


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Mark DeVries

Mark DeVries (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the founder of Ministry Architects, a consulting team that helps churches and ministry organizations build sustainable ministries for children, youth, young adults, and entire congregations. He served for twenty-eight years as associate pastor for youth and their families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He has trained youth workers on five continents and has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries.

DeVries is the author of Sustainable Youth Ministry, Sustainable Children's Ministry (with Annette Safstrom), and Family-Based Youth Ministry. He is also the coauthor of The Most Important Year in a Woman's Life/The Most Important Year in a Man's Life, and he has been a contributing writer for Josh McDowell's Youth Ministry Handbook, Starting Right, and Reaching a Generation for Christ. He and his wife, Susan, have four grown children.