What is youth ministry actually for? And does it have a future? Andrew Root, a leading scholar in youth ministry and practical theology, went on a one-year journey to answer these questions. In this book, Root weaves together an innovative first-person fictional narrative to diagnose the challenges facing the church today and to offer a new vision for youth ministry in the 21st century.Informed by interviews that Root conducted with parents, this book explores how parents' perspectives of what constitutes a good life are affecting youth ministry. In today's culture, youth ministry can't compete with sports, test prep, and the myriad other activities in which young people participate. Through a unique parable-style story, Root offers a new way to think about the purpose of youth ministry: not happiness, but joy. Joy is a sense of experiencing the good. For youth ministry to be about joy, it must move beyond the youth group model and rework the assumptions of how identity and happiness are imagined by parents in American society.
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About the Author
Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has written extensively about youth ministry. He is the author of numerous books, including Faith Formation in a Secular Age, The Pastor in a Secular Age, Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker, The Children of Divorce, Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, and Relationships Unfiltered, and the coauthor (with Kenda Creasy Dean) of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry.