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Poetic Youth Ministry:

Learning to Love Young People by Letting Them Go

Jason Lief and Foreword by Andrew Root


Released: April 22, 2015
Publisher: Cascade Books
Retail Price
: $20.28
Length: 162 pages
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1498202435

Jason Lief is a youth worker who is also a deep Christian thinker and theologian. Poetic Youth Ministry is a wonderful gift, not only to youth workers but also to the entire church. Lief addresses the current anxiety over young people departing the church by critiquing strategies attempting to overcome this perceived dilemma. Poetic Youth Ministry fuels the turn to the theological and provokes youth workers to ask, ‘What does youth ministry look like in a “world come of age”?’ In addition to the rich and profound theological content, this book offers examples from Lief’s experience as a youth worker on how to be with young people in Christian community as they discover what it means to be truly human. All youth workers who take their vocation seriously should read this book.

—Mike King
Author of Presence-Centered Youth Ministry


Jason Lief

Jason Lief teaches in the Religion department at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Originally from Willmar, Minnesota, he grew up listening to Twins games on the radio and watching the Minnesota Vikings on TV. His writing explores the connections between faith and popular culture, specifically focusing on the different ways people make meaning out of their lived experience. Jason is married to his wife Tamara and they have three children—Naomi, Christian, and Savannah.

Andrew Root

Andrew Root (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He is most recently the author of Exploding Dinosaurs, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science (2018), Faith Formation in a Secular Age (2017), and The Grace of Dogs: A Boy a Black Lab and Father’s Search for the Canine Soul (2017). He has also authored Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross (2014) and Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (2014). Root puts together theology and storytelling to explore how ministry leads us into encounter with divine action. His book The Relational Pastor (2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry) break new ground in this direction. In 2012 his book The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, 2011) was Christianity Today Book of Merit. He has written a number of other books on ministry and theology such as The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (2010), The Promise of Despair (2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (2009). Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their dog. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.