Featured Reviews, VOLUME 6

Andrew Root – Four Books on Theology and Youth Ministry [Part 1]

Page 2: Andrew Root – Four Books on Theology and Youth Ministry [Part 1]


Because of that, youth ministry looks quite different than the previous notions. Youth ministry isn’t about a youth minister building a successful program, or even to try and build faith in each of the young people’s lives. Instead it is to seek the in-breaking of God already present in the world, and to participate in it as much as possible. The pressure to create a better model or come up with a preaching method that is the silver bullet that draws kids to a youth group is eradicated, then, as the youth minister just focuses on God’s work already present in the world, and being as faithful to that as possible.


It makes sense that Root chooses the Cross as the first theological doctrine to consider because he argues that God works most frequently in our own weaknesses, not our successes:  “…the God of the covenant is a God who chooses our weakness as the location of God’s action… To say that youth ministry’s purpose is to participate in the act of God is no small statement. When God acts, God puts to death and brings to life… no one can participate in the activity of God without being put to death” (43). Root is working within a tradition of thinkers that believe, “God is never more fully God than when Jesus is on the cross” (Taking the Cross, 38).


*** [easyazon-link keywords=”Andrew Root” locale=”us”]Other Books by Andrew Root[/easyazon-link]

The second book is a little more in depth on the theology of the cross and the atonement, and I would not do justice to his arguments here so I would just encourage you to read it. It definitely made me think pretty hard about the topic, and would be helpful for any youth pastor wanting to do the same.


Ultimately, these books are super quick and easy to read, but that does not mean they are devoid of depth! I cannot wait until the next two are released, particularly the one on Mission and Eschatology. Certainly it could not be argued after reading Andrew Root that one cannot be theological in their youth group, and it encourages the reader to consider other areas of theology to “bring” to youth ministry as well.


C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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