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Review of “Shift” by Brian Haynes

May 26, 2010

Every once in a while a book comes along that I read that totally changes the way I view ministry. As many of my readers know (ok, I know only my mom and dad read this!) Deuteronomy 6 is a passage that for too many years I ignored. I thought it was my job as the “student pastor” to help teenagers, become all that God has created them to be.  When I had children myself, things began to change.  For the past few years I have been seeking how this “new ministry” should look.  It is time we, as student pastors, stand up and change the way we think about student ministry.  There is a shift that is happening in ministry, that if we do not jump on board, our families are going to sink. This “shift” is exactly what Brian Haynes writes about in his book entitled the same.

I have read several books concerning family ministry, but this was the first one I read that had application. Many of the books were theologically based. I would find myself finishing these books  saying, “okay, so what do I do about this.”  Haynes, writes a book that can be instantly applied to your ministry.

Haynes writes of the 7 milestones that all people go through.  Each of these milestones has a specific way the church can reach out to them.

These milestones are:

1. Birth (Dedication)

2. Salvation

3. Preparing for Adolescence (5-6th grade)

4. Purity (7th-8th grade)

5. Passage to Adulthood (16 year old)

6. Graduation

7. Spending your Adulthood in Christ

My favorite part of this book is how Haynes seemed to answer my questions as I developed them. For example, as he wrote about having a “Time of Blessing” during a graduation banquet, I thought, “What about those whose parents won’t write a blessing for their child.” As soon as I got the thought out of my mind, I saw the Q&A section in the margin, that answered this question directly.  Haynes seemed to have played devils advocate with himself as he wrote the book, just to answer the questions that will pop up.

I highly recommend anyone in ministry to read this book. As soon as I finished it, I asked my pastor if I could buy him a copy to read. He agreed! This book can almost be used like a “Handbook to Family Ministry.”

Have you read it? Let me know what you think. What are other books that are “must reads” in family ministry?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sherry Lovan permalink
    May 27, 2010 10:05 am

    Thank you for your words of encouragement this morning. I also appreciate your blog and look forward to getting to know you and your family.

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