When I entered youth ministry, I must’ve signed a contract agreeing to teach about sex and relationships every February forever…it’s law! But with all the Valentine’s Day love buzz, it’s a natural time to focus on relationships. I’d heard lots of buzz about Andy Stanley’s So I downloaded the Kindle version and quickly read it. I appreciate the solid content, and so did our small groups as they watched intently and leaned in to listen.After seeing how incredibly practical the book is, I wanted to get it into the hands of every teenager in our ministry. Stanley has taken some heat for his theology, but I think some people just don’t like his approach. We purchased the four-week small-group DVD set and gave each leader a copy of the book a month in advance.In the back of the book is a small-group video discussion guide.We asked leaders to read the book, especially focusing on chapters 1, 6, 9, and 10 (the chapters the videos address).We also asked them to prepare by reading each week’s discussion guide and to facilitate great conversations by talking here.The DVD includes Andy’s full-length messages, along with a pared-down 20-minute version. If you’re looking for curriculum, this is a great choice.Another strong resource is I have been serving in youth ministry for over 20 years, am currently the Director of Student Ministries at Valley Church in Des Moines, IA, and am on a first name basis with several Best Buy and Apple employees.My wife Keri and I have been married over fifteen years and have three great boys.
After hearing the sermon series a few years ago, I bought the sermon series kit from his website; this gave me transcripts, audio, powerpoint, video files, etc, as well as permission to preach the messages and use the series the way Stanley did.
Far and away the best ‘curriculum’ we’ve used on the topic, and the most well liked by the adult leaders as well.
As I stumble through the awkward limbo of single, yet soon-to-be-married, I’ve tried to read every resource tagged within the “marriage,” “love,” and “relationships” genre.
This, and the fact that I was desperate to escape the Grey from every possible angle (though I’m grateful for their messages), prompted me to download a copy of Pastor Andy Stanley’s new book on romantic relationships to my Kindle. Geared towards the young, unwed, and culturally savvy, Stanley explains in the introduction that his purpose for writing mean? Still I pressed onward with hopes of encountering helpful gems of wisdom and Christian counsel over the next 200 pages.
After all, the author is the Evangelical pastor of the largest church in America. The book’s strength lies in providing clarity on the idea that love is an action, not an emotion.