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  • Writer's picturePastor DJ Harry

My #1 Top Book for Families with Teens!


Every once and a while I run across a ‘top book’ that radically changes the way I think about an issue.  Often these deal with ministry or parenting, and I try to make a mental note of these top books so that when parents ask for helpful resources I have insightful suggestions.  I am normally very slow to give my recommendations publicly because, frankly, there are many good resources out there that people can choose from.  However, there is one book for families that I have bought at least 20 copes myself and given away to parents and teens.  This top book is called “Hook, Line & Sinker” by Cary Schmidt.


Cary is the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newington, CT.  Before God called him there, he was the Student Pastor at Lancaster Baptist Church in California where he ministered to hundreds of families with teenagers.  He wrote this book in 2008 and it is published through Striving Together Publications.  I read it when it first came out and immediately began suggesting it to parents and families.  I taught a series to parents as well as a series to our youth group from this material.


The book takes a look at four major ways that Satan tries to attack and

destroy homes, families, and relationships.  The chapters are easy to read but are so insightful and full of Scriptural truth that jumps out at every page turn.  The major points of attack are

#1 Divide and Conquer…how Satan attacks through ‘Family Fragmentation’

#2 Draw out and Devour…how Satan uses rebellion against authority to open a teenagers mind to the world

#3 Pollute and Plunder…once Satan has your ear he will fill your heart with messages that counter God’s Truth

#4 Befriend and Bewilder…Satan is a master at bringing along ‘friends’ that will magnify a teen’s spiritual desolation and despair


Usually there is one part of a book that hits you the hardest.  Personally, the section on family fragmentation exposed areas of neglect in my own philosophy as a parent.  I viewed all the ‘good things’ in life and in ministry as having equal value.  Consequently, if there were good things to be done we were doing them as a family, much to the detriment of our family unity.  We learned early that as parents you have to say ‘no’ to some good things.  Sports are a ‘good thing’, but we had to decide early if three sports, travel ball, summer league, and weekend tournaments were going to help or fragment our family.  I’m thankful that we headed off that disaster early on and made our family unity a top priority.


Without hesitation I would suggest that you purchase multiple copies of this book for your family.  It is written with a conversational tone that is easy to understand and comprehend for both adults and teens alike.  It does come with a optional workbook that can be used in conjunction with the reading.  Whatever you do, you need to read this book!!  Without a doubt it is my #1 TOP BOOK for families.

…click on the link below to go to the Striving Together Publications

DJHarry                       Isaiah 64:8                     We are the clay!

Are there other books that you would recommend?  Put the name in the comments below and share the great ideas!





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