025451011I’d like to meet Ryan Frank sometime.  Perhaps we could sit down over a drink (lemonade of course) and discuss children’s ministry, being a dad and life in general.  He and I come from the same generation (he’s a little younger, but not much!)  I’ve always enjoyed reading what he has to write – whether on his blog or in K! Magazine, and the more I read, the more I am convinced that we would get along famously.  So, when I found out that he was writing a book, and was anxious to get my hands on it.  I was not disappointed. 

Reading through 9 Things They Didn’t Teach Me in College About Children’s Ministry felt like I was having a conversation with Ryan and some of his closest friends.  The book is an easy read, which is not to imply that it lacks depth and insight, but only that Ryan writes so well that you often don’t realize how much of the book you’ve read by the time you put it down.  Despite how easily reads, and how relatively short each chapter is, the amount of information and practical advice packed into each page is astounding.  This book will not only make you think, it will give you a laundry list of practical ideas that you can start implementing today.  

Published to look like a an old blank notebook you might have used in college, each chapter tackles one important issue related to working in children’s ministry.  I don’t mind ruining the surprise, especially since you can find the table of contents online, so the nine chapters are:

  1. How Big Is Your Church?
  2. People Over Paper
  3. Fighting Staff Infections
  4. The World is Flat
  5. The Big “Ask”
  6. The Starbucks Model
  7. Movement Causes Friction
  8. What’s That Hum?
  9. You Don’t Have to Start from Scratch

Each chapter presents the issue, offers solutions and tips and ends with either a discussion with Ryan’s Facebook friends or an interview with a respected member of the Children’s Ministry Community.  For the record, I am not a full time staff children’s ministry professional.  I volunteer at my church in the children’s ministry and spend a lot of time thinking and writing about it.  That said, while I could not relate personally to some of the chapters, I still found the book extremely engaging and useful which is my way of suggesting that this would still be a good book for children’s pastors to buy for their staffs and volunteers.

frankryan_016emailNormally, when I am doing reviews like this, I will try to find at least one thing that I didn’t like or thought could have been better.  If I’m being honest, the only thing this book left me wanting was more, and that is not a bad thing.  I’m looking forward to Ryan’s next book.  Who knows, perhaps we’ll have a chance to get that drink in the meantime.

I was provided with a free copy of this book by Standard Publishing in order to do the review.  That fact did not influence my review, and the cool thing is they actually gave me a second copy to give away free to a lucky user.  So, since I am still reeling from losing the Kidmin Blog Madness competition, the first person to send me an Ipad2 gets a free copy of the book.  It seems like a fair trade!  Just kidding, if you want to be entered in the drawing to win the book, just leave a comment below, and I will draw a name at random sometime in the next week or so.  You can comment about whatever you would like, but I think it would be cool to hear stories about things that have happened to you in children’s ministry that you didn’t expect when you first started.

If you can’t wait to win a free copy, you can find out more about the book now, right here.


  1. Ryan needs to make it an ebook as well. I have now switched to almost 100% ebooks only with all the great improvements Amazon has made.
    My recent post Care with some flair Team Lesson 3 of 3

  2. I don't have an ipad to send. But i'd love to read this book. Wishing there were more ebooks available as well.

  3. One thing I didn't know about children's ministry: Parents would look to me for their own spiritual direction.