My name is Mike McGarry, and I am the Youth Pastor at South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham, MA and served in my previous church for 14 years. I studied at Gordon College and at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. & D.Min). This blog is the result of my desire to translate theology for a new generation of “normal Christians,” helping them discover the ways we all live theologically.
You can find me on my new site, Youth Pastor Theologian. Since starting this blog, my writing priorities have shifted somewhat, which has led me to focus my efforts on equipping youth workers to build on a biblical foundation and to integrate theology into their ministry to teenagers. That means I’m not actively writing on this site anymore, but you can find me on YPT and on Twitter.
I am the author of Lead Them to Jesus: A Handbook for Youth Workers (New Growth Press, August 2021). This book is written to help volunteer youth workers answer teenagers’ theological questions and to equip them with the practical skills needed for fruitful gospel-centered youth ministry.
A Biblical Theology of Youth Ministry: Teenagers in the Life of the Church (Randall House Academic, 2019). “Is youth ministry biblical?” That question drove me to write this book. Some say the Bible never mentions youth ministry, but this book presents a biblical, historical, and theological foundation for ministry to teenagers (and children). Rather than providing a new paradigm for youth ministry, I simply present the biblical foundation and highlight a few common threads from Genesis-Revelation, Church History, and basic Christian doctrine.
I was a contributor to Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide (Crossway, 2016). My chapter highlights the importance of Partnering with Parents. In many ways, this chapter is a distillation of my D.Min. thesis and forms the foundation for much of my other recent work.
I’m most active writing for my website, Youth Pastor Theologian. YPT is here to help youth workers build on a theological foundation. I like to think of it as a space that exists between the youth room and the academy. The two priorities are this: to help you think deeply about what youth ministry is, and to equip youth workers teach theological truths to students. If you’ve appreciated Living Theologically, you’ll likely resonate with much of the content on YPT.
I am also a long-time contributor to the Rooted Ministry Blog. Rooted is a ministry focused on advancing gospel-centered youth ministry and hosts an annual conference, quarterly Regional Groups, and one of the most prolific blogs for youth workers and Christian parents. I cannot say enough about how much I’ve learned from my friends at Rooted!
I am one of the co-hosts of Thanos to Theos, a podcast about comics, culture, theology, and youth ministry. Clark and Kevin and I have a ton of fun together laughing at each other, arguing over geek culture, and highlighting theological truth for teenagers that we glean from the world of superheroes. If seminaries can host courses on Tolkien and Narnia, then we can talk about Marvel and theology!
Speaking and Consultation
I’m a full-time youth pastor, so my availability to speak, preach, and do consultation work is fairly limited, but I’m happy to talk with you about the potential to serve you, your team/church, and your students. Here are a few samples of various types of speaking engagements. Please contact me directly if you are interested in talking further.