This collection of writings captures the heart of Mike Yaconelli. Though I had only met Yaconelli once in person, while working at the last National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) before his car accident, I have heard him speak and read his other books enough to get a feeling of what he thought about youth workers. He cared for youth workers. He lived an adventurous life with God. I loved hearing him speak, because he spoke with passion. This book has that same sense of passion.
This book is full of sage advice, rants, questions, sarcasm, wisdom and truth we don’t want to hear. You will not agree with everything written (unless you are exactly like Yaconelli). You will question some thoughts, but isn’t that good? You will have to stop and process your view of ministry and God. You will hopefully be encouraged by reading words written by a man who loved God and loved youth workers.
This collection of writings tackles youth ministry from the youth worker to the programs. In the chapter entitled “Talking Discipleship,” he writes these words, “Above all, youth ministers have a relationship with Jesus that is characterized by the absence of anxiety, the presence of humility, and a visible intimacy with Jesus.” If we have that relationship, then the discipleship will come naturally.
Those in youth ministry, or any other ministry, can relate to Yaconelli’s honesty. Listen to these words from a chapter entitled “Clearings.” “My life at present seems like an impenetrable jungle of responsibilities, a jagged briar patch of relationships, a tangled web of obligations. It feels like I am lost in the darkness of everyone else’s needs, silently pursued by a growing crowd of strangers who crave one more piece of me.” Have you ever felt like that? If so, you’ll want to read about the clearings Yaconelli says we need in our life.
Whether you are in youth ministry or not, you will be encouraged by this book. Though you cannot buy this copy, it was a limited edition only available at the NYWC, you can find someone who has a copy. If you can’t find a copy of this edition, search for old copies of the Wittenburg Door or YouthWorker Journal.
My advice (rating) – find a copy (5 out of 5)