From the Youthwork: Theory & Practice etc. section

Notice: This site is no longer being updated. It will continue to be available as an archive, at least until the end of March 2019. If you rely on it for review links, please adjust them before then.

The project has disseminated reviews and other information about Christian books since the start of the Millennium. We regret that it is no longer possible to sustain it.

Giving Up Gimmicks

Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture

by Brian H Cosby


Price: £8.99
Publisher:P&R Publishing from IVP
Published:February 2012
Wow what a breath of fresh air in some ways, an acknowledgement that much of youth ministry has become more about entertaining the kids to keep them there rather than evangelising and teaching the kids. Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with activity based youth work, I do it, I use puppets with younger ages, I use crafts with mixed ages, I use secular music and film clips with older ones to get over an idea but at the heart of what we do there has to be a real emphasis on teaching the young the living word of God, in getting them to take it in and really internalise it and not just come out quoting sample bits. Here Cosby uses a reformed tradition term to get this idea over, using 'means of grace' youth ministry, that is to say ministry based around the means of grace that leads to salvation, namely using the Word of God, the sacraments, prayer, service and community action and teaching through these methods and instilling these things into our young people. That's not to say we can't still mix and blend but at the end of the day there has to be more than just jingoistic and fun filled activity at the heart of our mission and ministry with our young. This is a refreshing look at youth ministry and one I think many will actually find they agree with in part and want to action.

Listen to this review

Reviewer: Melanie Carroll   (17/11/12)
Ritchie Christian Media
Scripture Union
Together Magazine
CLC Christian Bookshops
Church House Bookshop
Aslan Christian Books
Candle Books
Gospel for Asia UK
The Third Target - Joel Rosenberg