Gina Abbas
The Youth Cartel, 2014, 202 pp., $15.99

Gina Abbas has paved the way for women in youth ministry to step out and lead courageously, despite the inevitable challenges that often stand in the way. In her book A Woman in Youth Ministry, she not only gives great advice for women just starting out, but also encourages and affirms those already in the trenches. There were so many aspects of this book that I absolutely loved and reminded me that I am not alone…still after almost 11 years as a full-time youth pastor.

Abbas does a great job calling women to lead in the arenas we have been placed regardless of whether we have been invited. Not only does she share her own stories and advice throughout the book, but she invites other respected women in youth ministry to do the same. The practical and useful information is invaluable for any woman involved in youth ministry.

As a veteran youth pastor who struggles at times to find balance, I especially loved the chapters that shared advice on marriage, being a mom, and putting your family first. While readers may not resonate with all of the experiences Abbas shares, there is definitely a takeaway for everyone. My only question for Abbas would be, “Why didn’t you write this book 11 years ago?” My hope is that youth workers in a wide range of contexts—male and female—will take the time to read this book. Not only will it encourage you, but it might begin some much-needed conversations in the church.

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