I’ve been re-reading a book I’ve had for awhile and always liked, ‘God At The Mall: Youth Ministry That Meets Kids Where They’re At’.  I always liked it because it was a lot smarter than the title makes it sound.  Too many youth ministry books are fairly shallow, mostly about methodology, too anecdotal, and not nearly theological enough.  Despite it’s title, this book was deep, provactive, and very theological.  Which is why the title always struck me as a little odd…too much like the cliche overly anecdotal youth ministry books I’ve come to expect.  Especially since it’s written by a Brit and the ‘mall’ is not core to English culture like it is in America.

Imagine my surprise, moving to England, and finding out that the book had a different title once upon a time.  It used to be titled ‘Youth Work and the Mission of God’.  Apparently, the publisher required a title change before publishing and distributing the book in America, because with that title they didn’t think it would sell!!!  So they came up with ‘God At The Mall’.  How sad that that is the title they thought would sell to North American youth pastor.  Are we really that cliche?  That predictable?  That simple?  I guess so.

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