I couldn’t write about the best books in youth ministry for the year without including Kenda Creasy Dean‘s Almost Christian. This book builds on the research presented in Soul Searching by Smith and Denton which is another great book that details what is happening in contemporary youth ministry. What Dean’s book did (that Soul Searching didn’t) was give the highlights of the research while drawing out some great application.
You couldn’t read very many youth ministry blogs without hearing Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. This phrase seems to have stuck as a description for the watered down version of religion that has replaced faith based youth ministries. MTD will be a phrase that will likely be a part of the upcoming conversations about where youth ministry is going. That alone makes this book in my op read list for the year.