top of page

"I've finished 'Raising the Bar' and wanted to write to say thank you.

I've made a series of changes, found someone to lead with, and have really felt the change in the levels of trust with the young people across the last number of sessions.

Tonight two of my youth said it was the best session we've ever had. I don't think it's a coincidence that it's coming after having finished you book. I love the encouragement to "Stay long enough to get good at it" at the end - I am now "no longer floundering"... let's see if I can stay long enough to get good! 

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience and for staying the course in youth ministry!"

Rachel Mander

Volunteer Youth Leader, St Polycarp's, Hillsborough, Sheffield

About the author


Artificial Intelligence 2

Read Dave's new blog

Your first 30 years of youth ministry experience

in one book.

Psalm 139 Escape Room
Psalm 139 Wide.jpg


Or try one of our other escape rooms. The first one has been played by over 4000 people!


Nothing unusual about that, you might think. This photo is created using I put in something like 'Path in Israel with three people walking along in robes in the first century'., but I also hid a message in it, written in white on black. If you want to see the whole picture that Cleopas and his friend realised in Luke 24, squint at the picture. Now imagine making this into a jigsaw puzzle and revealing it a piece at a time on the screen during a talk. Check it out on a big screen before you use it. People don't see the writing.

If you want more creative ideas for Bible talks, have a look at my book Raising the Bar.

Emmaus Road.jpg

Six points from Luke 24.13ff:

  1. Jesus did miracles

  2. Jesus died

  3. Jesus said he would rise on the third day

  4. The tomb was empty

  5. The angels said he had risen

  6. The prophets spoke of his death and resurrection


Can you see the full picture?

AI Emmaus Road


"'Raising the Bar' comes highly recommended.  If you are a paid youth worker or a volunteer this book is invaluable.  The book is a handbook that will help you week on week as you serve your young people.  It has chapters on the 'why' of youth work but also the 'how to'.  So for instance, if you want to run a residential this book will help with both the planning and the delivery of a safe week or weekend away.  Likewise, the book will give you tips and frameworks on how to run a quality evening session from the games right through to the talk.  
A fantastic book that is written for the church - buy a copy and also buy one for your friend in ministry."   

Tim Neale

Insight Christian Schools Work Trust

Resources for youth ministry


"I've got to remember those moves for my wedding." How partner dancing might build up your youth ministry.

Resources for planning Christian residentials, camps and houseparties, teaching sessions; role descriptions for volunteers and much more. 

Many churches in Europe have been joined by Ukrainian young people. Check out ideas to welcome young people for whom English is not their native language.


Raising the Bar is aimed at both paid and voluntary leaders. It's been called a 'youth ministry handbook' and 'youth work bible'.

The book gives enough help to start a group, and gives you the skills, ideas and encouragement to keep going long-term. Learn to deal with conflict. Grow values in the ministry. Build a strong team of leaders. Plan a residential. Respond to a disaster. Leave a legacy.

It's full of stories to inspire you.

"Each time I open it, I come away from it encouraged and equipped to do what I can for the Lord.., thinking 'I'm going to make mistakes... BUT LOOK WHAT GOD CAN DO DESPITE THAT.'

It reminds me that there is only one thing we need to get right - Jesus - and He'll take care of the rest."


Eleni Brooks

Youth Intern

Raising the Bar Book Cover (Comp).jpg

"To have a resource like this to put into the hands of my leaders is invaluable. It's so helpful to be able to say to them 'the chapter on X will help you with this'. My leaders love it too because it makes them feel more confident in the ministry we share. Thanks Dave!"

Ross Mungavin

Youth Pastor

Raising the Bar Book Cover (Comp).jpg

"A manual of best practice, showing us that we can lead both a fun and Bible-centred ministry."

Premier Youth & Children's Work magazine

"An essential text"

Jo Baynham

Youth Centre Director

"A really detailed, practical, thoughtfully put together and easy-to-apply super manual! It's a real 'go-to' for me."

Keturah Adshead

Youth Leader

"Comprehensive, practical and soundly theological"

Becky Hepworth

Youth Worker

Park Church, Stoke-on-Trent

I've written this practical manual to help you grow effective Christian youth ministry from start to finish. Reading this £10, nearly 400-page book gives you over 27 years of experience. It's packed with loads of how-tos, from writing a Bible talk to leading a small group, dealing with conflict, to working with parents and the wider church. It also has key values for church youth work to remind us what's important - all shared with lots of STORIES involving God's power to transform lives.

Raising the Bar Book Cover (Comp).jpg

"An invaluable resource"


Scott Rushby

Youth Pastor

Testwood Baptist Church


Raising the Bar
What's new?

What’s new with

The Psalm 139 Escape Room is now live! All the instructions you need to play with your youth group, friends or family here. Some great new ideas for Cherishing your Youth, including partner dancing and team challenges. Let me know what you think here or get in touch if you need any more help. If you've been on the site a few times and I've never said 'Hi!' in the Chat, it's probably because you've turned off cookies. Turn them back on and I'll try and say, 'Hi' some time!

bottom of page