Jake Kircher
The Youth Cartel, 2014, 112 pp., $12.99

Jake Kircher’s handbook Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian World serves as the practical follow-up to Brock Morgan’s stellar book, Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World. Answering the question, “What’s the point of teaching?” Kircher contends that we’re not aiming to get teens to buy into the church, a theology or a denomination; we’re trying to connect our listeners to Jesus. Building on this premise, the book unpacks a new paradigm for teaching—exploration—as well as many practical tools for how to implement this pedagogical strategy for a post-Christian context. Kircher goes to great lengths to outline how he uses this teaching strategy in his own youth ministry, which paints a clear picture not only of the practices but also the underlying values needed for this type of teaching.

I imagine many American youth workers might be wondering if their own context qualifies as post-Christian, particularly those in the Bible Belt. Others might question the validity of the book’s methods due to its many references to Rob Bell (a controversial figure for many evangelicals). If you’re skeptical, Kircher’s honest and experiential wisdom about youth ministry in a post-Christian context is beneficial for any youth worker, especially those who desire to teach young people the traditional teaching methods won’t reach. Teaching Teenagers is a concise, pragmatic, helpful book to add to your youth ministry tool belt.

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About The Author

Joel Mayward is a pastor, writer, youth worker, and aspiring film critic. The author of three books, he has written for numerous ministry publications, including Leadership Journal, YouthWorker Journal, The Youth Cartel, Immerse Journal, and LeaderTreks. Joel has been serving in youth ministry since 2003 and lives with his wife and three children in the beautiful green-and-grey of the Pacific Northwest. You can read his musings on film, theology, culture, and leadership at his blog, www.joelmayward.com. Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelmayward.

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