Flash! Ping! Whiz! Pop! Boom! Bang! Crash!
Such are the sights and sounds of modern youth ministry. We look for the bigger, the louder, the brighter. And we work long and hard to make our ministry the biggest, the loudest, the brightest.
But look out and listen up: God is not caught up in sound and fury. And he doesn't want to see youth workers disengage--letting the momentum define their purpose.
Mike Higgs, reflecting on more than two decades of work with youth, thinks the greatest need among youth workers today is a reminder of who we are. We need to set aside the distractions of an emphasis on performance and focus instead on connecting with God in his work in us, our students and other youth workers. When a renewed spirit shapes our work with youth, our ministry will become less a muddled chorus of strategies and targets, and more a symphony of purpose and practice.
"Mike Higgs is one of the most unique, authentic and anointed youth leaders in America today. Mike's characteristic honesty and transparency permeate this work and make it 'stand out.' Speaking as a 'wounded healer,' he works honestly to generate and release a spirit of personal renewal, consecration and heightened faith for the turbulent postmodern future already upon us. This is a much-needed and vitally important discourse for all pastors and church leaders to read and prayerfully ponder."
"I so appreciate Mike Higgs's honesty, integrity and biblical insights in addressing such a needed perspective on youth ministry. He writes from a wealth of experience and expertise!"
"Mike Higgs exemplifies the title of his book. Youth Ministry from the Inside Out is an apt description of what has proven so effective in his life experience. Apply the principles and discover a greater depth and vitality in your daily ministry."
"Youth workers who minister out of the fullness of their own lives in Christ always make the biggest bang for the kingdom. Yet how easily we are distracted by the trappings of youth-work: programs, strategies and the like! Mike Higgs's book calls us back, individually and corporately, to our first love. Such renewal is not an option if we are to reach the emerging generations of youth."
"I know of no one of national stature better qualified to write on keys to the renewal of youth ministry in America than Mike Higgs. I've worked side by side with him in major youth events. I've seen his heart for Christ, for young people and, at a profound level, for others in ministry to Christian young people. Now you can get close to Mike's heart too. This is not a book of how-tos for youth ministry. This is a book on how to be Christ-empowered youth ministers."
"As I read this book I remembered why I was drawn to Mike Higgs ten years go. It was his spiritual honesty, his dissatisfaction with the status quo and his passionate pursuit of God. Mike, thank you for this challenge to be changed, and for inviting us to 'snorkel' with you in God's great River!"
"If you're looking to be biblically challenged as a youth minister, you've come to the right book. More than just another book on 'how to do youth ministry,' Youth Ministry from the Inside Out emphasizes how vital it is for those ministering to students to be radically renewed. We all long to see God use us in greater ways. This book can help!"
The Youth Ministry Symphony: An Explanation and Introduction
First Movement: Renewing Yourself
1. "I Am Desperate": An Embracing of Brokenness
2. "I Am Ruined": A Call to Consecration
3. "I Am Wounded": A Place for Healing
Interlude: A Gift of Mercy
Second Movement: Rethinking Your Approach
4. "I Am Safe": A Stronghold of Protection
5. "I Am at Rest": A Blessing of Sabbath
6. "I Am Here": A Posture for Hearing
7. "I Am a Warrior": A Briefing on the Battle (I)
8. "I Am Not Alone": A Briefing on the Battle (II)
Interlude: A Challenge to Perseverance
Third Movement: Restoring Our Unity
9. "We Are One": The Mandate of Love and Unity
10. "We Are Asking": The Power of United Prayer
11. "We Are Listening": The Importance of Discernment
Interlude: Patient, Expectant Hope
12. For an Audience of One: The Heart of Youth Ministry
13. Courageous Faith: The Risk of Inside-Out Youth Ministry