The End of Youth Ministry? Why Parents Don’t Really Care about Youth Groups and What Youth Workers Should Do about It

Andrew Root

The End of Youth Ministry? Why Parents Don’t Really Care about Youth Groups and What Youth Workers Should Do about It
The End of Youth Ministry? Why Parents Don’t Really Care about Youth Groups and What Youth Workers Should Do about It

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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.

  • Contents
  • Warning for the Reader! (Read before Using)
  • 1. Toward a Journey to Joy Late March
  • 2. Don't Waste Your Life: Youth Ministry and the Good Life September
  • 3. Are the Kids OK? Goods and Youth Ministry September
  • 4. Three Sets of Parents: Things and Happiness Emerge Late October
  • 5. Identity, Part 1: A Dance Party, Demi Lovato, and the Internal Quest Late October
  • 6. Transformation in Youth Ministry Late March
  • 7. Identity, Part 2: Romance, Recognition, and Resentment Late October
  • 8. Happiness, Part 1: Powerball, Endgames, and Sheryl Crow versus Taylor Swift From Winter to Spring Break
  • 9. When Goods Become the Good Late March
  • 10. Happiness, Part 2: Holiness, Virtue, and Luther's Freak-Out The End of Spring Break
  • 11. Joy and the Custodian: What Youth Ministry Is For Late March
  • 12. Borne Burdens: Youth Ministry and Stories of Joy Late March
  • 13. Open Takes and Closed Spins: Youth Ministry and Transcendence Late March
  • 14. An Identity Event: How Youth Ministry Affects Identity Mid-April
  • 15. Holding Vigil: Youth Ministry and Cruciform Practices May
  • Conclusion: Friendship and DQ May


Pages: 240
Publisher: Baker Academic
Published: 2020
ISBN-10: 1540961397
ISBN-13: 9781540961396

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