Eventually, we lose the ability to make believe.
As we grow up, we’re told to “get our heads out of the clouds” and to “use our brains.” But isn’t imagination the very thing that has catapulted us to do great things? It’s put humans in the air, under the sea, and on the moon. It’s led to the invention of guacamole and shoes that last longer and the printing press. Imagination is one of the things that makes us more like God.
Yet the harsh reality of life (and student ministry) has squelched the ability of many student pastors to dream and imagine. That’s where this book comes in. It reminds student pastors of what’s still possible.
In Make Believe: 5 Things Great Student Pastors Choose to Believe, Ben Crawshaw and Kevin Ragsdale unearth five ideas that combine faith and imagination—plus practical steps to help leaders turn those beliefs into behaviors—with the goal of reinvigorating student pastors’ hearts and ministries.
Imagine it. Do it. Then make yourself believe it.
Are you ready to make believe?
“I think being a student pastor is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. That’s why I’m thrilled that folks like my friends Ben and Kevin are addressing the unique challenges of student ministry with a fresh perspective. And best of all, they don’t pull any punches—refer to the chapter titles if you have any doubts. As a dad with daughters headed toward adolescence I’m deeply encouraged that resources like Make Believe are going to dramatically amplify the critical work student pastors do.”
—Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Start and Stuff Christians Like
“Make Believe takes a practical approach to some uncommon principles that can make or break your ministry. Crawshaw and Ragsdale invite you to imagine again and equip you to continue dreaming.”
—Mark Matlock, executive director, Youth Specialties
“After 30+ years in student ministry, I’m more convinced than ever that our niche of ministry is one of the most difficult and important jobs in the church. That’s why I’m so grateful that Ben and Kevin have written a resource that not only encourages student pastors to stay the course, but gives them some practical tips to effectively take their ministry to the next level. This isn’t just theory. Make Believe offers doable strategies from real leaders in real churches. To remain relevant and engaging to teenagers over the span of one’s career will require us to re-imagine the way we do ministry over and over. And that is what Make Believe invites us to do: Re-imagine our strategy. Re-imagine our role. Re-imagine our relationships with students, parents, and even our own church staff.”
—Doug Fields, author of the bestselling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry, Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry, and co-founder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com.
“Some days youth ministry leaves you asking, ‘What is the point, exactly’? Some days you might feel like an event planner, game creator, camp fundraiser, announcement giver, safety inspector, liability detective, official notary, financial manager, media developer, or first-responder. But there is so much more to be discovered and offered in youth ministry than the functional hats we wear. Ben and Kevin know this firsthand. They know there are days when the gritty and sometimes overwhelming reality of our roles beg us to re-imagine them, our relationships, and the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ we do week after week. This is the type of conversation that every youth ministry leader should be having with someone. And this book is a great place to start.”
—Brooklyn Lindsey, author, speaker, and youth pastor at Highland Park Church in Lakeland, Florida
“I have witnessed the imagination and genius leadership of Ben Crawshaw and Kevin Ragsdale firsthand. The powerfully simple and practical principles that shape Make Believe are not just philosophical fluff. They are real, timeless, and proven. Ben and Kevin are humble, honest, unassuming leaders. Make Believe sends a timely and important reminder that, as youth leaders, ‘Tomorrow will look a whole lot like today unless you learn to lead with some imagination.’ I needed this book. I love this book. You will too.”
—Stuart Hall, Orange leader, communicator, co-author of The Seven Checkpoints and Max Q