By Mike Kupferer If you are in your first couple of years of youth ministry, the phrase Lock-Ins, Board Meetings and Push-Ups, might seem like a peculiar grouping. After my seven years of full-time youth ministry, I must agree with Jay Tucker's way of putting them together in the youth ministry vocabulary (and the title of his e-book), as he sets out to help explain how to survive in youth ministry Monday through Friday. If you are a youth worker who struggles with staying in ministry for one reason or another, reading this book will remind you that you are not alone. As you read about Jay's experiences you will see some frustration and hurt associated with the daily task of being a youth worker. You do not have to read very far to see that Jay has not stayed in youth ministry because it is always a great experience.
Through nine chapters, Jay discusses some important aspects of youth ministry – everything from professionalism to your relationship with your family. In each aspect covered, there is an attempt to give advice for the novice and the seasoned youth worker. This can be a difficult task to accomplish for any writer on any topic, but especially in a book on youth ministry, a field where experience is the best teacher. While I do think Jay was able to offer a good amount of advice for the new youth worker, the book didn't reach a new level of information for a more experienced youth worker.
It is in the the second part of the e-book, physical health and your ministry, that Jay really begins to share a more in-depth process for implementing change in your life. There is a lot of advice in these four sections: nutrition, exercise, tips for healthy eating while on the road, and exercising while on the road. When discussing nutrition, Jay explains a lot of terms we hear in the media and covers some of the basics to eating healthy. This is a section of a youth workers' life that most of us neglect or ignore. Along with some good tips on eating healthy, Jay provides some good instruction on exercise. There are some very detailed and helpful tips on some easy exercises anyone can do, even on a youth trip.
The tone of the e-book is very casual. As you read, you get the feeling that Jay is sitting down having a conversation with you. His language is upfront and relaxed. If you are looking for a list of steps and tips for the Monday to Friday side of youth ministry, this e-book is not what you are looking for. If you want to hear from the heart of a youth worker who struggles to enjoy the Monday to Friday part of youth ministry and wants to help you get through it too, then you need to read this.
Lock-Ins, Board Meetings and Push-Ups is available for purchase as a download frombetteryouthministry.com.