Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry : From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-30
  • Publisher: Intervarsity Pr

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Relational youth ministry, also known as incarnational ministry, can feel like a vicious cycle of guilt: "I should be spending time with kids, but I just don't want to." The burden becomes heavy to bear because it is never over; adolescents always seem to need more relational bonds, and once one group graduates there is a new group of adolescents who need relational contact.It may be that the reason these relationships have become burdensome is that they have become something youth workers do, rather than something that youth workers enter into. InRevisiting Relational Youth Ministry,Andrew Root explores the origins of a dominant ministry model for evangelicals, showing how American culture has influenced our understanding of the incarnation. Drawing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose work with German youth in troubled times shaped his own understanding of how Jesus intersects our relationships, Root recasts relational ministry as an opportunity not to influence the influencers but to stand with and for those in need. True relational youth ministry shaped by the incarnation is a commitment to enter into the suffering of all, to offer all those in high school or junior high the solidarity of the church.

Author Biography

Andrew Root is assistant professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 9
Introductionp. 13
p. 21
The Historical Ascent of Relational Ministry: The Early Twentieth Centuryp. 25
The Historical Ascent of Relational Ministry: The Late Twentieth Centuryp. 40
Our Relational Motivations: A Sociological Examinationp. 62
p. 81
Who Is Jesus Christ?: The One Who Is Incarnate and Much Morep. 85
Where Is Jesus Christ?: Relational Ministry as Participation in God's Presencep. 104
What Then Shall We Do?: A Ministry of Place-Sharingp. 124
How Place-Sharing Works: Person and Culturep. 142
Picturing Relational Transformation: Transcendence & Revelationp. 166
Rules of Art for Place-Sharing in Communityp. 197
Bonhoeffer as a Minister to Young Peoplep. 218
Indexp. 220
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