Thursday, April 11, 2013

YOUTH: Books IN the youth room? WHAT?

Professionally, aside from trying in my own small way to improve overall education in the church, I teach high school math. In my room I have a bookshelf and, believe it or not, the books are NOT all about math or numbers or something to do with math or numbers. They are books I feel are appropriate for high school students and contain something worthy of thought and these days, kids need those. It's a math class so there's not a lot of time for reading but they're there so the kids have something to read after tests, quizzes, or when their homework is done and they're getting restless.

Many churches have a library that primarily has books that have been donated and it's in a tiny corner of a room somewhere. Most of the books are intentionally Christian stories, devotionals, biographies of Christian people, books on theology, different translations of the Bible, Bible studies, etc. Depending on the church and whether or not there's a large population of young children, there may also be a larger section of children's stories.

Why not have a bookshelf in the youth room? Why not provide a list of books that people can donate that would be beneficial for teenagers? The youth may not rush to read them but they'll provide a number of opportunities for discussion, when they are bored someone may grab one for a few moments and find it interesting enough to continue reading, when they arrive early or have to stay later to wait for a ride a book could be suggested, it will help improve their reading ability, and it'll get them out of their headphones for a bit. They do not all have to be about Jesus or be self-help books to be beneficial. Be sure to put a few different Bibles and reference books in there too!

Among others, try any of these...
  • Life's Big Questions, God's Big Answers (CPH - Straight answers about faith.)
  • Time to Pray (CPH - Prayers for Youth)
  • Wild at Heart (John Eldredge - A book about boys becoming men.)
  • Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis - A doctrine of Christian belief.)
  • The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis - A devil teaches his underling about manipulating humans.)
  • The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis - A group from hell take a field trip to heaven.)
  • Who do you think you are? (Mark Driscoll - Find your identity in Christ.)
  • Hind's Feet on High Places (Hannah Hurnard - A hind called Much Afraid learns to be brave and follow the shepherd.)
  • Surprised by Joy (C.S. Lewis - How Lewis found joy.)
  • ANY of the Narnia books (C.S. Lewis)
  • Wisdom On... Friends, Dating, and Relationships (Mark Matlock - How to be smarter about friends, dating, and handling conflict.)
  • Wisdom On... Music, Movies, and Television (Mark Matlock - Why do you choose to watch and listen to the things you do?)
  • Wisdom On... Growing in Christ (Mark Matlock - What should I do to get closer to God?)
  • Wisdom On... Getting Along with Parents (Mark Matlock - Gives insight about parents for youth.)
  • What Does God Want from Me? (Mark Matlock - What does it mean to be a Christian?)

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