Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review of YOUthork: Let God Use Your Influence by Don Pearson and Paul Santhouse

Youth work it a difficult job.  If you are not keeping a constant focus on how to do the job better it is easy to get lost.  It is for this reason that so many books are published every year on resources and ideas.  The fact is that many of these books contain lots of great ideas, but are so specific to the place the author is from that when one tries to implement them into their work, it fails.  Others feel as though the books coming out are simply a repackaging of older books and sold under a new title.  So as much as refreshing new content is needed there is really not much out there.  So when I picked up a copy of YOUthwork by Don Pearson and Paul Santhouse I was skeptical of it at best.  However within the first few pages I found myself quite excited that the book delivered on its promise to share, “99 practical ideas for youth workers, parents and volunteers”.  The book takes a no nonsense approach to these tips as well as keeps the chapters short and to the point.  Not every tip was a fit for my brand of youth work and style, but a great many of topics could be implemented into what I am doing or simply encouraged me to keep going as I am.  In my opinion there is a bottom line to simple effective youth work that is often overlooked due to the flash and pizzazz of youth programs.  I think that this book boils away all that fat and gets you right into the good stuff.  I recommend this book to anyone at any stage of their youth work journey.  A big thanks to Don Pearson and Saul Santhouse for their superb work on this collection of thoughts and ideas.
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