Sustainable Children’s Ministry
MARK DEVRIES AND ANNETTE SAFSTROM
Reviewed by Graham Stanton
Good strategies for children’s and youth ministry often fail due to ineffective systems. Mark De Vries uses the metaphor of a dancefloor: it doesn’t matter how good a dancer is, if they have to dance on a rotten stage, their performance is going to end in disaster. In Sustainable Youth Ministry and Sustainable Children’s Ministry, DeVries (together with Annette Safstrom for the children’s ministry version) helps churches ‘attend to the dance floor . . . ensuring that the right systems, priorities and infrastructure are in place before beginning the dance’. Though written from a North American perspective and requiring some ‘transposing’ into an Australian context (and a small church context), there are valuable ideas in these books that will help churches think carefully about the systems that can enable children’s and youth ministries to thrive.
Graham Stanton is Director of the Ridley Centre for Children’s and Youth Ministry. He teaches Introduction to Children’s Ministry and Introduction to Youth Ministry in the Ridley Certificate program: (certificate.ridley.edu.au)