Early on in my current (and now outgoing) calling as a youth and family director at an ELCA church in Southeast Michigan, I was turned on to an obscure youth ministry book from IVP called “Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry,” by a guy named Andy Root. Andy is professor of CYF at Luther Sem, and as I have come to discover, one of the most articulate voices for a *needed* rethinking of youth ministry.
When I read his book three years ago, it placed into writing the many thoughts already circulating in my head about youth ministry, as a new youth pastor, and coming out of a vibrant faith community, Jacob’s Porch. I was so engaged by what he was articulating, that I made the three hour journey to Mars Hill (Rob Bell’s old church) in Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet him and to hear him speak more about youth ministry.
And for those of you who know me, also know that my journey through ELCA candidacy has been nothing short of an adventure. I recently made the switch in my affiliation from Trinity Lutheran Sem (in Columbus, OH) to Luther Sem and pursue an M.Th in addition to my Lutheran year of righteousness, in large part, for the opportunity to take classes from Andy and others.
His thinking and that book have been a manifesto for my vocational existence for the last three years. And, If you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy here.
Andy recently released two new books on youth ministry called Taking Theology to Youth Ministry and Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry. And in a new writing project for me, I’ve decided to blog my way through them.
So, stay tuned later today for part one.