Incarnational Youth Ministry

January 26, 2011 — 2 Comments

I am slowly understanding the implications of what incarnational youth ministry really is.  I used to think ministry was solely about relationships but a book I am reading is changing my thinking.  Andrew Root advocates that ministers need to place themselves in the suffering and redemption of the lives of teenagers and allow ourselves to be fully human with them.  There is much more to flesh out but I wanted to include a quote for your thoughts:

“The incarnation has made these very children our responsibility, our beloved brothers and sisters.  We must reach out to their humanity even if it means the suffering of our own humanity, for this is the way of the cross.  It may be that the reason they don’t trust our offers of friendship is that they intuitively know that we are not willing to see, hear and accompany them in their deepest suffering.  We have offered them trips to Disneyland, silly games and ‘cool’ youth rooms, not companionship in their darkest nights, their scariest of hells” (Andrew Root, Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, p. 96).

Some serious implications…

2 responses to Incarnational Youth Ministry


    Any suggestions on how to get them open up. As a parent sometimes I think I’m doing all the talking even though I have sat in silence to wait on them to say something after asking an in depth question.

      Robbie Mackenzie January 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      That is difficult to answer but it depends on the child and the circumstance. What do you need to know might not be what you want to know. As long as the teenager knows you care and that you are willing to walk alongside of them regardless of the hurt then they will open up. They might not open up in the way you want them to but it’s not about you but them.

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