In today’s culture, offering advice to young men about what they should know about growing into manhood is one of things I find myself doing a lot. Over the year’s I’ve led dozens of men through studies of John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. It has been transformational for them. There has been a void in addressing the masculine journey for teens.
For teens there hasn’t been many books that I’ve found that addresses the issues so many teen guys have today….things that author Donald Miller talks about at length in his book Father Fiction and his own masculine journey:
I wasn’t sure how to manage myself, how to talk to a woman, how to build a career, how to—well, be a man. To me, life was something you had to stumble through alone. It wasn’t something you enjoyed or conquered, it was something that happened to you, and you didn’t have a whole lot of say about the way it turned out. You just acted out your feelings and hoped you’d never get caught.”
So I was delighted to learn of this book from my allies in the trenches of student ministry – Jeff Wallace, Mike Hammer and Matty McCage.
I actually conducted a not-so-scienitific conversation that was incredibly engaging and attention holding with several different groups of male teens over the past week to gauge the worth of this volume.
With each group I explained the concept and the focus of the work. And then asked the young men to randomly call out a number between 1-99. We turned to that “thing” and read it. We covered the gambit – Dating & Sex, Relationships, Acceptance, Finances, Spiritual Growth & Disciplines, Leadership , Identity, and Legacy.
The collection of 99 things is an incredible springboard to conversation and truly the answers the authors have penned are dead-on and quick to the point. Though the context of my conversation was with mostly un-churched youth, the validity and guidance from the authors was well received and has actually generated several follow-up conversations.
I heartily endorse this volume–BUY IT! It’s writing is witty, focused and concise. It fills a void in helping to give answers to the questions that every young man takes on the journey to adulthood. With a little bit of effort, each chapter could be developed into a great conversation for a young men’s small group.
There is definitely a hunger among today’s young men to better…navigate relationships, success and life’s other big stuff…Jeff-Mike & Matty have gotten us closer to giving thoughtful answers. Just click the book cover above to order your copy today. I’d be interested in your thoughts once you had an opportunity to read it.
(editor’s note: I received a complimentary electronic version of this book for this review).