At just over 100 pages, 9 Things They Didn’t Teach Me In College About Children’s Ministry is a fantastic quick-read for those of us in kids’ ministry who might not have the opportunity to spend most of our week reading books – in fact, it’s almost small enough to fit in your pocket… making it super easy to carry along on a road trip, lunch outing, or a plane ride to Maui (like I did). Ryan Frank, author and all-around good guy, keeps things simple enough to keep the reader’s attention while passing on some seriously good insights into effective children’s ministry practices. I’m trying to keep this review bite-sized (check out Elemental CM for a full directory of the other kidmin voices writing reviews on this book), so I’ll jump to some quick Digs and Dribbles.
Things I Dig
Ryan’s chapter on the importance of networking in order to keep you and your ministry healthy (Chapter 4: The World is Flat) is one of the best (and quickest!) chapters I’ve read on the subject. Those of you who know me and connect with me regularly know that this is a passion of mine – so, it makes sense that this section would resonate with me. Ryan offers a how-to guide for connecting – something I’ve never read in a book like this before. If it weren’t a copyright infringement to photocopy this chapter and hand it out to my staff and kidmin colleagues, I’d be passing this chapter out at every meeting for the next year. It’s that good.
Things that Dribbled
One of the things that works against this book is one of my favorite things about it – it’s short. And, when I say short, I mean that each chapter is right around 10 pages and the pages of the book itself are only 7″ x 5.5″. With that said, I love how quick of a read this book is. I never had to skip a page because the book was dragging on… which, with my busy schedule, is a rare thing. But, if you’re looking for a manifesto or something to read over the course of a month, you might want to look somewhere else.
If you are in a network of kidmin leaders, get this book and discuss it at your next meeting. If you aren’t connected yet to a kidmin community, get this book and read chapter 4… then discuss this book with someone you start networking with.
If you want a copy of this book, I have a free one to give away. All you have to do is comment on this post or any other post on West Coast CM over the course of the next week and you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for a free copy. Consider it a “thank you” for being awesome.
If you want to check out what others are saying about this book, my friend Dan Scott (www.danscottblog.com) is scheduled to post his thoughts tomorrow (Thursday, April 7) and you can follow along with the blog tour at Elemental CM (www.elementalcm.com/9thingstour).
Disclosure: A complimentary copy of 9 Things… was provided by Standard Publishing for purposes of review. I didn’t promise them I’d be nice… and, I’m pretty sure they’re cool with that.