When my husband and I first started out in ministry it was to youth. He and I enjoyed the energy and excitement which is youth ministry. We firmly believed youth group should be fun, but the focus should always be Christ. If at any point anything we did stepped away from this focus, we needed to rethink what we were doing. One of the things we learned was teenagers are not usually encouraged to think for themselves. They have the ability, but the pressure to just go along with the crowd can deafen their ears and subsequently minds to stop thinking.
Tommy Newberry's book, Think 4:8: 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life for Teens from Tyndale House Publishers is a special combination edition of two other books, The 4:8 Principle and 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life especially focused on teenagers. This books seeks to take the practical ideas from the original book and apply it specifically to teenagers. I have not read the adult versions of the book yet, but I was intrigued as I read. I was impressed with how practical truth was presented in a very teen-friendly manner and that Newberry applied it to very real issues teens face. My girls are not yet teenagers, but I will be using this book as a devotional with my 12-14 year-old literature class for homeschoolers to start our day together.
Set up in the style of a devotional each chapter focuses on a different aspect regarding their mindset. The foundation of the book is Philippians 4:8 which is introduced on the first day. Each following day builds on the idea that we need to dwell on the good things and how to do this in a variety of areas including how teenagers regard their parents, how they view themselves, and how to treat others.
The format is consistent throughout the book and is easy to follow. A Scripture is introduced from one of a number of versions of Scripture. Then a short devotional is written to encourage the reader to think more deeply about the passage. Following this is a challenge portion for the reader to plan out how they will change their thoughts. Then they are challenged to put their thoughts into action and given a thought of the day to help them stay on track. Finally is a sample prayer to help the reader know how to pray about their challenge. I think this would be an especially good read for a teenager who is new in their faith and is facing the challenge of changing much of the way they are living their lives.
I reviewed the e-book, but I think this would be better in the physical format if you are considering this for a teen you know because each chapter has space and opportunity for them to respond to what they have read. I would have preferred if this book had been consistent with the version of Scripture used. Although I do not think there is only one correct translation, I prefer consistency in whatever translation is used.
Disclaimer: I received the Think 4:8: 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life for Teens in exchange for an honest review as part of the Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to give a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way.