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Book Review

“Youth ministry is hard work. Even after 25 years of being a youth leader, it takes time to prepare a Bible study well, to write a talk, to draw up a programme, to plan a social event or to take care of an individual.”

Raising The Bar, p.16


There is no book like this on the market. Never have I read a book on youth ministry so accessible in nature, weighty in theological reflection and practical in content.

Dave has compiled 25 years’ worth of knowledge, wisdom and reflection into a single volume. Raising The Bar touches on everything from a Biblical mandate for youth ministry to practically launching a vision and strategy, as well as preparing Bible studies, talks, socials, residentials and sustaining longevity in youth ministry.


Raising The Bar is an essential part of any youth leader's toolkit. I read the whole thing cover to cover in just a few days but will spend the rest of my career flicking through specific chapters as and when I need them. Dave’s heart and passion for youth ministry is so evident in his writing; it is clear that his desire for young people to know the Lord Jesus as Saviour is at the centre of all his work.

Dave has been there. He has spent two and a half decades working face to face with young people, through thick and thin, experiencing all kinds of practical issues and pastoral emergencies. Raising The Bar shares anecdotes and testimonies of the many highs and lows of Dave’s career so far. As someone who has been in youth ministry for less than one decade, Dave’s insights, wisdom and practical advice make Raising The Bar an easy-to-read, theologically sound, complete handbook for those just starting out in youth ministry or those who have been in youth ministry for years. 


To all youth leaders (paid or voluntary) out there: if Raising The Bar is not currently on your shelf, it needs to be.

It is an invaluable resource.

Scott Rushby
Youth Pastor with 7 years of experience


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