In my opinion, The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry by Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean is becoming one of the fundamental texts in youth ministry. Through their series of essays, they look at how the various parts of youth ministry require a theological frame. The fact is, everything a Christian does is based on a theological lens (whether intentional or not). Root and Dean provide a starting point for youth workers to delve into why they do what they do, from the perspective of how it reflects upon their understanding of God. Some of the topics that really intrigued me were:

  • the connection between conferences/retreats/camps to an eschatological view
  • distinguishing between short-term missions and global tourism
  • seeing the intersection of sexuality and spirituality

Within the ministry of CBOQ, while we have not figured it all out yet, it’s encouraging to me that we are on the right track in how we view compassion experiences (aka short-term missions) and other events that we host.

There were times, especially in the earlier chapters, where there was so much to reflect on that it almost took me one page a day to at least let some of it sink in. However, for those who are seriously pursuing youth ministry for the sake of His Kingdom, this is a key text to help shape one’s approach to youth ministry.