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Taking Theology to Youth Ministry (A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry) Hardcover – August 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties (August 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310670764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310670766
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minnesota). He is the author of several books, including Relationships Unfiltered and coauthor of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry with Kenda Creasy Dean. Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their two dogs, Kirby and Kimmel. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.


More About the Author

Hey, my name is Andrew Root (I go by Andy), I teach classes on youth ministry, young adults, family, church, and culture (all with a deep theological bent) at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. I've written ten books that are out (and two on the way). You can see those below. I live in St. Paul, my wife Kara is a Presbyterian minister and we have two kids (Owen and Maisy) and two dogs (that destroy my yard). When I'm not teaching and writing I watch a ton of TV and movies and I'm a huge Twins, Wild, and Gopher hockey fan. Check out my webpage, find me on Facebook, or follow me on twitter.

www.andrewroot.org
www.facebook.com/andrew-root
www.twitter.com/rootandrew

Customer Reviews

His use of characters is well thought out and fits within the framework of the message of the book.
Joseph T. Cochran
The book fleshes out these concepts in the context of Nadia and her struggle to bring that understanding to youth, parents and leaders of the church.
Paul Martin
In fact, I would say that it would lead someone, looking for help with youth ministry, to more questions than answers.
njohnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Martin on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The scope of this book will be jarring for many who read it. It begins telling the story of Nadia and her difficulties in becoming a youth minister. Her struggles are those that all youth workers face (or should face) working with adolescents. After pieces of her story are told, the author unpacks the deeper ideas of her dilemma.

Basically, Root calls youth ministry into action by redefining theology as us reflecting on God's action in our lives rather than a static set of principles. He also clarifies youth ministry as seeking to participate in God's action with and for adolescents. The book fleshes out these concepts in the context of Nadia and her struggle to bring that understanding to youth, parents and leaders of the church. It doesn't focus on the how of youth ministry like most books, but instead distills the "why" letting that inform the "how."

I have been doing youth ministry for almost two decades. This book is the most helpful book I have ever read in affirming and articulating the evolution of youth ministry in my life. I read a lot, so this has a lot of weight. For veteran youth workers, this book should help to clearly see the situation working with teenagers.

For those newer to youth ministry, this book might be a bit unsettling. It provides a wonderful framework for beginning youth workers, but it should challenge many of the old paradigms youth ministry was built on.

Either way, this book should be a part of every youth minister's collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John M. Alexander VINE VOICE on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admit, I'm biased. Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, written by Root, was a defining text in my direction as a youth pastor. It has set the pace for my work. So, whenever Root writes a book, I buy it.

With that being said, I read his latest, Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, in one day. It is, without question, a homerun. Root follows the journey of a youth pastor named Nadia and her struggles with incorporating real, substantial theology into the pragmatic world of youth ministry. And while Root bounces back and forth between practical examples of Nadia's journey and complext theology broken down into simpler forms and sentences, he does a masterful job of relating the two worlds.

Most theologians and academics struggle with saying anything that is practical for youth ministry or church in general (i.e., most seminary professors). However, in my opinion, there is no one better than Root at toeing the fine line of theology and ministry, or as he would say, letting ministry precede theology.

Root's writing doesn't appeal to one type of church or another. I love this. A lot of times, books will either appeal to the megachurch or the small-town church with 20 students. I find Root's writing to transcend size, denomination, and church type.

If you are a youth pastor, I can't highly recommend this book enough. If you are someone who works with youth, works in a church, is a pastor of any sort, please please read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By njohnson on November 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There are a few reasons that I would rate this book as one that I disliked. Being so short, it was not worth the money, it forces a rather neo-orthodox, existential, and liberal agenda upon the reader, and being a book that claims to say a lot about theology, has very little.

To start, the book was very short. It is a series of four, following the main character Nadia through her adventure of becoming a youth minister. But if the books all revolve around one story, make them one book, so that the readers can save a little money, especially when they as short as they are. It just does not seem like money well spent.

Also, Root clearly pushes he liberal agenda through this story, with the female youth minister, the idea of asking teens questions instead of leading them to answers, the instruction to stop teaching doctrine or ideas of God. It is rather neo-orthodox, as Root cites Barth multiple times and would seem to think that the rules or commandments laid out in Scripture would be better understood by youth through their own experience rather than through teaching and accountability.

Lastly, this book claims to have a lot to do with theology, but I would disagree. In fact, I would say that it would lead someone, looking for help with youth ministry, to more questions than answers. The character in the story, Nadia, a seminary drop out, lands herself a position as a youth minister but she has no denominational affiliation whatsoever, and does not even know what her employing church believes. Also, Root keeps referring to ministry as, "participation in the action of God." This leads me to two questions. First, what is the difference in my view of ministry as programming to bring people closer to God versus participation in the action of God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Kaehler on November 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taking Theology to Youth Ministry is an attempt by Andrew Root to explore new territory in theology books by taking readers through a theological journey via the books main protagonist: Nadia. Nadia is a youth worker who was freshly hired on by a denominational church that she knew very little about. In fact, she didn't know anything about their doctrine and was simply told to "love their kids". Andy from here follows Nadia through parts of her career and highlight specific struggles that she has that are shared by many throughout the youth ministry field. I appreciate the approach that Root tried to take with this book, but throughout reading Taking Theology to Youth Ministry I couldn't help but notice that Root did not feel committed enough to the Nadia story to make it through its 105 pages. I felt as though I was trying to read two different blogs at the same time. Root introduces problems and questions that Nadia is facing and then without any transition switches from Nadia to his own opinions and points he is trying to make and then without pause switches back to his Nadia story and she somehow has all of the ideas that Root just tried to convey.

My next problem with this book and probably the biggest reason as to why I would not recommend it to a friend or colleague in youth ministry are the vague terms. Root describes youth ministry as participation in the action of God, which leads me to wonder if the crusades are a part of God's ministry. After all, were the crusades not viewed by the majority of Christianity as the will of God? While that example might be me getting too literal with what Root is conveying, his whole book is littered with these ambiguous definitions that at the end of the day, few know exactly what he means.
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