There are two things you need to be aware of before you read 99 Thoughts on Youth Ministry. First, the title is a lie, because this little book is filled with 113 nuggets of youth ministry knowledge, not 99. Second, as you read through the pages you might notice that Griffin seems to be writing to a very specific audience, even more specific than say the average youth worker. In fact, based on this section from the description I would say he’s writing with his ministry team and atmosphere in mind: “Over the past couple of years Josh has been journaling his youth ministry learnings in his Moleskine and on his blog. The good, the bad and the ugly – this is a collection of those thoughts.”
I think the fact that Griffin is currently “in the trenches,” and writing about what he knows, gives this book a little extra boost of character and authenticity. 99 Thoughts is more than a random collection of ramblings, it is a categorized peek into the youth ministry thoughts of a youth worker who passionately strives to serve students and help other youth workers be more effective. You will find thoughts in four areas: vision & leadership, programs & people, small groups & events, and everyday ministry. Within these sections, each thought is short and to the point, making the book as a whole short and to the point.
99 Thoughts is a great youth worker stocking stuffer (or if you feel uncomfortable stuffing a youth worker’s stocking, you can just slide it under the door). Anyone currently working in youth ministry can benefit from reading this book. The rookie youth worker can learn from Griffin’s experience, and possibly avoid a mistake or two of her own. And since you can read this book while eating lunch it is not intimidating to a youth worker who already feels overwhelmed with responsibilities. Veteran youth workers can also glean from these pages, as each thought will serve as a reminder or encouragement.
I highly recommend getting a copy of this book for every member of your youth ministry team. You can either encourage them to read the whole thing on their own or use it as part of your team meetings (discussing one section at a time). Regardless of how you use it, I believe your ministry will benefit from the 113 thoughts found within these pages.
My advice (rating) – buy more than one and give out copies (5 out of 5)