Advancing grace-driven youth ministry
Statistics cite that perhaps the majority of students involved in youth ministries do not continue to attend church in college or as young adults. Most research surrounding this crisis considers the primary problem to be the message and theology of youth ministry, which Christian Smith described as “moralistic, therapeutic deism.” Rooted Ministry offers a place to reflect theologically on how student ministers can ground their message and ministries more deeply in the Cross and the Gospel of grace.
Rooted Ministry exists to transform student ministry by fostering grace-driven and cross-centered leaders through rich theological and contextual engagement.
Rooted Ministry creates space for theological reflection on the Gospel and Scripture by educating, equipping, and encouraging student ministry leaders through conferences, communications, and connections.
After reading Michael Horton’ book, Christless Christianity, which describes the absence of the Gospel in the American church, Rev. Frank Limehouse, the Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, had a simple vision: a youth ministry conference that focused on the message of the crucified Christ and nothing more. Rooted Ministry has been simple from the beginning. What started with a small gathering of people ministering to youth from around the country has grown into a movement to see the Gospel of grace serve as the only core of student ministry. This movement takes place through our conferences; our blog and other publications; and a community of people in ministry to youth working and praying to see teenagers liberated by and enamored with Jesus and His Gospel.
Rooted Ministry espouses a simple approach to youth ministry, based on our understanding of scripture and validated by research on effective models for cultivating sustainable faith in young people. Therefore, we emphasize the following foundations for youth ministry:
(1) Gospel centrality– faithfully proclaiming the good news of God’s unconditional love for sinners through Christ.
(2) Theological depth through expository, biblical teaching– equipping students with a biblical worldview.
(3) Relational discipleship– pursuing all facets of ministry in the context of caring relationships with students.
(4) Partnership with parents– educating, equipping, and collaborating with parents in the discipleship of their kids.
(5) Intergenerational integration– not segregating students from the church body but including them among all the generations of the church.