Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 04:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Before you Hire a Youth Pastor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Right Fit. By Mark DeVries and Jeff Dunn-Ranking. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2011. 124 pp. $7.99.

The search for a youth pastor can be a tedious one. While many churches have a plan in place for replacing their departing youth pastor, often times, those plans are executed ineffectively, and can even lead to the wrong hire. Thankfully, youth ministry experts Mark DeVries and Jeff Dunn-Rankin have put together a book to prevent those unfortunate situations. In Before You Hire a Youth Pastor, the authors put forth extremely practical tools and advice for moving the pastoral search process forward in a way that honors God, empowers laypeople, and guides a church toward the right youth pastor hire.

DeVries and Dunn-Rankin consider all aspects of the youth pastor search process, such as selecting the correct members for a search committee, settling on a theological vision for youth ministry, establishing a search timeline, analyzing resumes, interviewing candidates, asking the proper questions, and everything in between. They provide examples of searches that have gone both well and poorly and provide practical advice that will help the desperate youth pastor search committee.

The authors agree that searching for a youth pastor can be a difficult venture, and their hope is that they can enable churches to find the right youth pastor in a manner that is efficient, effective, and ends with the proper person(s) in ministry leadership. Helpfully, the authors make this process step-by-step (38 steps to be exact), and leave no stone unturned. They include numerous appendices of sample job descriptions for both full-time and part-time staff, a candidate tracking sheet, a sample rejection letter, guidelines for interviews, and many others. These appendices comprise almost half of the book, and will no doubt save search committees time and stress. While it may appear that DeVries and Dunn-Rankin advocate a “cookie-cutter” approach to the search process, they understand that not all churches are in the same place theologically, financially, or administratively. They are sensitive to the ministry needs of all churches, and go to great lengths to help committees move the search process along smoothly.

As leaders of Youth Ministry Architects, DeVries and Dunn-Rankin have several years of combined experience in the field of youth ministry. They readily understand the needs of churches and youth pastors alike. DeVries has authored a number of similar works, such as Family-Based Youth Ministry and Sustainable Youth Ministry that come alongside youth ministers in the journey to effective youth ministry pra...

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