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The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry

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2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit winner What haunts your youth group? So often we avoid talking about doubts and fears because we feel inadequately equipped to address them in any meaningful way. The crisis of existence can't be answered with pat Sunday school formulas or a few Bible verses, let alone another relay race. The questions our youth have are often th 2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit winner What haunts your youth group? So often we avoid talking about doubts and fears because we feel inadequately equipped to address them in any meaningful way. The crisis of existence can't be answered with pat Sunday school formulas or a few Bible verses, let alone another relay race. The questions our youth have are often the same ones that perplexed the great theologians, driving them to search for God in the places God didn't appear to be--places of brokenness, suffering and confusion. What if we let these questions drive our search for God too? Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean invite you to envision youth ministries full of practical theologians, addressing the deep questions of life with a wonderfully adolescent mix of idealism, cynicism and prophetic intolerance for hypocrisy. Follow them into reflection on your own practice of theology, and learn how to share that theology through rich, compassionate conversation and purposeful experience.


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2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit winner What haunts your youth group? So often we avoid talking about doubts and fears because we feel inadequately equipped to address them in any meaningful way. The crisis of existence can't be answered with pat Sunday school formulas or a few Bible verses, let alone another relay race. The questions our youth have are often th 2012 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit winner What haunts your youth group? So often we avoid talking about doubts and fears because we feel inadequately equipped to address them in any meaningful way. The crisis of existence can't be answered with pat Sunday school formulas or a few Bible verses, let alone another relay race. The questions our youth have are often the same ones that perplexed the great theologians, driving them to search for God in the places God didn't appear to be--places of brokenness, suffering and confusion. What if we let these questions drive our search for God too? Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean invite you to envision youth ministries full of practical theologians, addressing the deep questions of life with a wonderfully adolescent mix of idealism, cynicism and prophetic intolerance for hypocrisy. Follow them into reflection on your own practice of theology, and learn how to share that theology through rich, compassionate conversation and purposeful experience.

30 review for The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Kelly

    The theological approach is not biblical theology, but a brand of practical theology that seeks to determine God's movement through observation of human behavior informed by "tradition." There is a hunger, I think, in the discussion of youth ministry for a "theological turn," but this book disappoints. It is a series of warmed over journal articles with some added discussion suggestions that are more offensive than helpful. It has occasional inspiring moments, some passages that generate thought The theological approach is not biblical theology, but a brand of practical theology that seeks to determine God's movement through observation of human behavior informed by "tradition." There is a hunger, I think, in the discussion of youth ministry for a "theological turn," but this book disappoints. It is a series of warmed over journal articles with some added discussion suggestions that are more offensive than helpful. It has occasional inspiring moments, some passages that generate thought, but more platitudes dressed in academic language (worn much like the Emperor's new cloths) than anything else. Unless you are interested in the academic discussion of a narrow view of youth ministry, give this book a pass.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A fine collection of articles written by two practical theologians concerned with ministry to the young. The postscript was a helpful description of four streams of practical theological reflection on youth ministry and a main proponent of each: 1) neo-Aristotelian, centered on Christian practices/disciplines that become the place of divine/human encounter [Kenda Dean] 2) critical social theory, centered on the liberation of adolescents from oppressive structures (like consumerism) [David White] 3) A fine collection of articles written by two practical theologians concerned with ministry to the young. The postscript was a helpful description of four streams of practical theological reflection on youth ministry and a main proponent of each: 1) neo-Aristotelian, centered on Christian practices/disciplines that become the place of divine/human encounter [Kenda Dean] 2) critical social theory, centered on the liberation of adolescents from oppressive structures (like consumerism) [David White] 3) pragmatism, centered on ethical development based on scripture's guidance [Chap Clark] 4) Kierkegaardian, centered on the impossibility of human action to encounter the divine, trusting instead in the action of God to overcome the sin and death in which we are surrounded [Andrew Root] This chapter would have been more helpful as an introduction, so the reader could trace these influences throughout the chapters. I love the rich reflection going on today around youth ministry. We are so far beyond the era of pizza parties and lock-ins, even though we mostly still do these activities. Only now, these activities are the veneer and deep theological reflection informs the heart of ministry within cliche programs/events. This would be a great book discussion for networks of youth workers and youth pastors.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I didn't get much out of this book. It is basically a collection of essays by two theologists who reflect upon various aspects of youth ministry. They would describe an aspect of youth ministry, point out some problems of this aspect, and propose a new way/attitude toward this aspect of youth ministry. I had difficulty connecting with the problems they identify, though. For example, one essay said taking youth to the mountains and encouraging them to know more about God through experiencing natu I didn't get much out of this book. It is basically a collection of essays by two theologists who reflect upon various aspects of youth ministry. They would describe an aspect of youth ministry, point out some problems of this aspect, and propose a new way/attitude toward this aspect of youth ministry. I had difficulty connecting with the problems they identify, though. For example, one essay said taking youth to the mountains and encouraging them to know more about God through experiencing nature is problematic, because nature is not only beautiful, nature is also to be feared and revered. I assume the author believes it's wrong to see God as both beautiful and a presence to be feared. But I don't comprehend why the author holds this belief @@ There are many, many other similar cases in which I couldn't comprehend why the author sees something as problematic or unsatisfactory. One thing from the essays that did leave an impression on me is that all youth (actually, adults too) are undergoing a "crisis." This crisis, which can come in many forms, ultimately is the result of the inconvenient truth that humanity cannot be immune to death. Thus the youth pastor should help the congregation connect the crisis they experience to Christ's suffering on the cross (instead of explaining theology in abstract terms).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mu-tien Chiou

    Am writing the intro/preface for the Chinese translation of this book due summer 2017. a main thrust of this book is about digging the theological bonanza inherent in youth ministry. it imagines a scene of youth ministry expressed in vibrant theological vigor and depth. It suggests that we should treat youth as adults. As opposed to what's common nowadays in emerging churches: their success mostly lies in treating adults as minors. Am writing the intro/preface for the Chinese translation of this book due summer 2017. a main thrust of this book is about digging the theological bonanza inherent in youth ministry. it imagines a scene of youth ministry expressed in vibrant theological vigor and depth. It suggests that we should treat youth as adults. As opposed to what's common nowadays in emerging churches: their success mostly lies in treating adults as minors.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Qingxin

    实践神学,不仅是对青少年事工。

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Best

    Fantastic book on how youth ministry is not simply pragmatic, but is at it's core practical theology. I found particularly helpful the second part where youth ministry practices such as camp and missions trips were interpreted and evaluated through a theological lens. Anyone interested in how to take teens deeper into God's Word should read this book! Fantastic book on how youth ministry is not simply pragmatic, but is at it's core practical theology. I found particularly helpful the second part where youth ministry practices such as camp and missions trips were interpreted and evaluated through a theological lens. Anyone interested in how to take teens deeper into God's Word should read this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Great, Great, Book. The first half of this book is a real treasure, stretching those who work with youth to think theologically about ministry. Solid all the way around. If you work as a youth minister or lay leader, you should read this.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Justin Farley

    http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2011... http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2011...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lenshyn

    A youth min book with significant substance. I would recommend this to any youth pastor!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Bibb

    Great book for student pastors and really any pastor. It provides great insights and methods for incorporating theological reflection and construction in ministry. I highly recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Micah Hurst

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jake Owens

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wes Willison

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katy Fielder

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ben Wideman

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Doong

  18. 5 out of 5

    RachelVioletta

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Ong

  20. 4 out of 5

    Serghei Moraru

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kris Sanford

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brad Jensen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Halley Hopson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg Klimovitz

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mechelle Myers

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Smither

  27. 4 out of 5

    T.J. Gabelman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Vojta

  29. 5 out of 5

    Conrad Demmocks

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Long

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