Book Review: The Greenhouse Project

Word of Life Fellowship floated a book my way last week to review called “The Geenhouse Project: Cultivating Students of Influence” by: Mike Calhoun and Mel Walker.

According to the website, “The book is the collaboration of 16 national leaders in the area of student ministry. Each of the authors approaches the issue, “How are we going to train students for leadership?” The authors speak from unique backgrounds, and answer the question with empirical ministry. The Greenhouse Project is the result of over a century of collective student ministry experience authored by some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry.

While I dove in as soon as the book hit my hands, there were many positives that popped out immediately.  Here are a few.

  • The book reads like a handbook for youth pastors (which there are not a lot out there right now).  Right at the start I was pumped to hear someone else (besides myself) tell other youth leaders the importance of teaching students doctrine and the Bible.  Almost a year ago we removed a great deal of curriculum from our youth in hopes to refocus on the importance of understanding the Bible and how it applies to young people’s everyday life.  Every Youth Pastor in America should read the first two chapters twice.
  • The application questions at the end of the chapters are simple and easy to use.  They will be a real benefit to the reader/leader if he or she answers those questions open and honesty.  Practical application of the text is crucial to understanding the content.
  • The book came with a student guide for parents, pastors or other youth leaders.  While the student guide is good, the book is way better.  Read the book first.
  • I was also pleased to see how the book handled the issue of time (one’s personal time).  So often people say they don’t have time to do anything constructive regarding biblical concepts or disciplines.  I loved the time challenge the book offered to see how much time we actually waste in the day not getting things done for the kingdom.

So far the book is great.  I am halfway through the text looking forward to the second half.  I’ll be sure to include more updates once I’m fully completed.

What books on youth ministry are you reading?  Are they helping?

Let me know.

-jordan

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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Greenhouse Project”


  1. 1 RayDeck3 September 5, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Jordan, this is a great review. I’m glad to read another’s perspective on this book. I have been describing The Greenhouse Project as an Encyclopedia of Youth Ministry, but I think Handbook says it pretty well too.

  2. 2 Mike Calhoun January 2, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Jordan, thanks for taking the time to review The Greenhouse Project. I know your insights will be of help to other youth leaders/pastors as they look for resources for ministry.


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