Over the last few weeks I have finally had enough time to read Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller which I discovered through the Youth Specialties podcast. Mueller’s book is a fact-filled and informative look at youth culture; he updates his research for this book every few years and through that has given youth ministers, workers and volunteers a helpful guide for informing them about the world most American teenagers live in today.
Mueller starts off with an overview of why culture is so important to understand, and further explains why youth culture is so unique. Mueller is especially impressive when it comes to youth and media, dedicating a number of chapters to this. Other topics that he covers include Peer Pressure, Sex, Materialism, Substance Abuse, Depression and Suicide. It is a book full of helpful statistics, facts, interpretations, but the book is certainly not a “how to” guide for youth ministry. It acts a a survery over a number of different issues faced by young people. The book is based on research from America, but most of it translates well into the UK teen culture.
This book is a good guide for any youth pastor or volunteer wanting an update on current youth culture from a reliable and respected source in evangelical Christian youth ministry. Though the book is more of an informative survey than a helpful methodology relating to current youth ministry, I definitely recommend it for all those wanting a trustworthy source for research and engagement.