About the Authors

Mark DeVries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects, a consulting team specializing in working with youth ministries in transition. Mark is the author of Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry, and, since 1986, he has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jeff Dunn-Rankin is Vice President of Consulting for Youth Ministry Architects. Since the late 90s, he has also been the Director of Youth at Christ United Methodist Church in Venice, Florida. Other writing projects include his GROUP Magazine column and co-writing Before You Hire a Youth Pastor with Mark DeVries.


Who’s this book for?


Youth ministry is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. But it also can be exhausting, overwhelming, captivating, tedious, energizing, demanding, draining, and stressful. Are you prepared?

Veteran youth workers and consultants Mark DeVries and Jeff Dunn-Rankin want you to succeed—whether you’re trying to land your first youth ministry role, wishing you had more love for the job you already hold, or seeking strategies to lock in your dream job.


What’s in the book?

Chapter topics include:

• Developing a search timeline that works

• Where to hunt for youth ministry openings

• Why acquaintances aid your search more than friends

• Why the Jones Memorial Carpet matters

• Initiating change without killing your ministry

• Helping people embrace the ministry’s vision

• Living a life that has balance and priorities

• Learning to love the parts of your job you dislike


"Youth ministry is hard work, and youth ministers need wisdom to know how to persist in their calling even when their ministry doesn't feel fun or fruitful. This book helps to provide this much-needed measure of wisdom."
Timothy Paul Jones, Ph.D.
Author of The Family Ministry Field Guide
Associate Professor of Family Ministry and Editor of The Journal of Family Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I wish this resource had been available 35 years ago; it would have helped protect me from several "mistakes" and myself throughout the years. IYM ought to be required reading for all those with a passion for youth ministry. Well done!"
Prof. Darwin Glassford
Assoc. Professor of Church Education
Director of M.A. Programs
Calvin Theological Seminary

"Many recent youth ministry graduates struggle in their first few years of ministry and in part it is the result of a lack of discipline, discernment & direction. I believe DeVries’ The Indispensable Youth Pastor addresses all three of these concerns well and in addition encourages youth ministry grads to ask the right questions in their interviews and set appropriate boundaries prior to being hired. I hope to include Hired for Good as a key text in one of my youth ministry courses."
Garth Friesen
Professor of Youth Ministries, Steinbach Bible College, Canada

"Mark and Jeff have done a great job of covering all the bases for those who are looking for a youth ministry position. These two do such a good job that this book is the only go-to resource you will need in prepping for this key decision in your ministry. What I like best about it is that it is practical, realistic, and like sitting down and talking with these two guys and they are speaking directly to you. This is a much needed resource in the youth ministry world and I am glad these two have conquered this comprehensive task."
Paul Turner
Lead Student Ministry Specialist, LifeWay Church Resources

"I could not think of two wiser youth ministry professionals to have mentor a youth pastor/director in the search for the next call of ministry. If I were starting over again, my first meeting would be with these guys. Their counsel in these pages is gold."
Dr. Steve McConnell
Senior Pastor, Church of the Palms

"The Indispensible Youth Pastor leads both rookie and veteran youth workers through how to find a paid youth ministry position, how to land the job, and how to keep it once you are hired. Through many real life examples, Jeff and Mark give us a blue print for working in a church setting, dealing with church politics, and improving the quality of your time in your youth ministry position. Indispensible is a valuable tool for any youth worker, whether you have been in ministry for five minutes or fifty years."
Adrian Martin
Director of Youth Ministries, First Presbyterian Church in Athens, Georgia

"As a youth ministry professor that helps 40 graduating students enter into this field every year I wanted to let you know that I really appreciated this book. The Indispensable Youth Pastor deals with the core issues that every young minister needs to honestly face as they help shape the spiritual lives of the students and families they are called to serve."
Brian Pingel
Director, Center for Youth and Leadership - North Central University
Associate Professor – Youth Ministry/Youth Studies – North Central University

"Mark DeVries is one of the wisest persons in youth ministry, and The Indispensable Youth Pastor shows this in Technicolor. Mark and Jeff's wisdom spills from every page; you will find here a lighted path to both survive and succeed in ministry. As someone who loves big theological ideas, the pushback to my own work is often, What does this look like? Or, what do I do when my pastor doesn't see this theological perspective? When these issues come up I almost always refer to Mark's work, and this book you hold is the best of his and Jeff's practical wisdom. Through its pages you'll hear the voice of two individuals who care deeply about youth workers, the church, and young people. Follow their lead and many of ministry's harshest pitfalls will be illuminated so you have every opportunity to sidestep their danger. "
Andrew Root, PhD
Associate Professor Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary

"Mark DeVries and Jeff Dunn-Rankin have a written a book that we’ve been needing for a long time – a book easy to read but thoughtful in content, light-hearted enough to be fun but serious enough to remind us that these guys take ministry seriously. You’ll also recognize the warm, friendly signature style that Mark brings to all of his books – the theological depth, the great stories, the simple, profound insights and the practical how-to stuff that seems to get left out of a lot of books with this kind of substance. I believe that their candid, practical counsel about how to land,love and lock-in a youth ministry position will help thousands of youthworkers find places where they will stay longer, be more content and bear more fruit for the Kingdom."
Duffy Robbins
Professor of Youth Ministry, Eastern University

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