As a youth pastor I always try and get my hands on the current youth ministry book that’s out. Within the last six months I have read a plethora of youth ministry books, and what I’ve come to realize is that they all sound the same. Maybe a different perspective, sure, but in the end the concepts and principles are the same; just repackaged. I’ve slowly developed an appetite for this type youth ministry quick fix books. Though what I was really looking for was a foundational outlook on ministry, more specifically relational ministry…something more academic and less program driven
Then I found Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry by Andrew Root.
This book was (is) absolutely amazing. Academic yet functional. Simplistic yet comprehensive. The book is divided into two parts. Part one focuses on the birthplace of youth ministry and where its been, where its is, and where its going, while giving thought into the social implications. The part two focuses on Christ and his role in a relational ministry. Let’s face it, without him there’s no reason for youth ministry. However, how we do ministry is a different story.
As RRYM progresses through a vast field of what it means to be relational, Root looks at the adolescent mind to find the cause of why they do the things they do (you know…the stupid things teens do). He brings to light the importance of being relational as a why of communicating God from a life on life application. But why is this important. Root explains that Christ is “present within human relationships” i.e. transcendence and revelation.
RRYM is a book that will take time to think about. This is not some “fun-filled youth ministry” model. It is an academic look into the heart of what today’s teenagers need and how we can help them better understand what it means to know Jesus Christ. Because if Christ is not infused into everything we do as a ministry…we got problems.