The Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys
by Robert C. Dykstra, Allan Hugh Cole Jr., and Donald Capps
Reviewed by Clint Walker
Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys is a short book put out by Westminster John Knox about the relationships of adolescent boys. The book is very therapeutic in its approach, with some references as well to how to relate and pass on the Christian faith to teen boys in the church.
This book is well researched and well documented. It is both accessible and intelligent, and will have much to offer to pastors, youth pastors, teachers, and parents of teens as well. Central to this book is that healthy identity formation for adolescents, including adolescent boys, takes place in the context of relationships. This is an important insight. Many youth leaders in churches are strongly geared toward relational ministry with teens, but have a harder time equipping teens to relate well to one another.
Also, a lot of attention has been paid to the dynamics of adolescent girls relationships with one another, including their structure, as well as the benefits and pitfalls of those relationships. Less attention has been paid to how boys relationships are structured, and how the social structures of adolescent boys can either be life-giving or destructive. (Most often boys have experience with both kinds of relationships).
I would recommend that youth leaders and pastors at least skim this book if they have any interest in either healthy spiritual formation or identity formation for adolescent boys.