By Scotty Gibbons
There is something about this Scotty Gibbons guy that I like. I used to work with him while on staff at James River and that probably colors my view. However, I can truly say that what you see with Scotty is what you get. His first book reflects just that.
Carry-On is one of the finest books I’ve ever read on student ministry. It is funny. It is poignant. It is real. It is clear. It is practical. It is spiritual. Above all else, its heart is to challenge youth pastors and leaders to reach this generation in a way that transcends tricks and trends. Its principles are universal in their application to cultures from east to west and north to south.
Although you will be amazed at what God has done in the Student Ministry of James River, you will find yourself reading Scotty’s concluding words to “Carry-On” and realizing that what he has articulated in 163 pages can work in your culture. You don’t have to be Scotty or be James River to understand and implement the principles. They are truly universal.
Scotty helps you feel relaxed and makes you laugh with his mistakes and you feel like cheering with God’s blessed successes. A number of years ago I enjoyed visiting a nationally renowned church and giving it the “white glove” test only to discover they had dirt/dust at their church too. I confess it made me feel good. Scotty does the same with Carry-On. Like all of us, he’s had messes, plenty of them, along the way. But God blessed in spite of them.
Monty Hipp notes the book to be real life, not theory. Tom Elmore calls it a “must-read for any youth leader…” Jeffery Portmann says that “Scotty Gibbons is a voice to the generations of youth pastors and leaders who want to hear Jesus say, ‘well done’.”
Then when you top it off with validations from Josh McDowell, Kevin Moore and Nate Ruch it just doesn’t get much better.
Carry-On concludes with a summation of Scotty’s own personal hope and prayer for you in your journey. He quotes words from the apostle Paul from Philippians 3:12-17, 20-21; 4:1 in The Message.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way…By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.”
If you want to do youth ministry as usual, don’t waste your time with this one. However, if you don’t….then buy it now!