Tag Archives: free

Get a FREE Copy of Relationships Unfiltered by Andrew Root


Below is a message from Andrew Root, Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary, and author of the books Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, Relationships Unfiltered, The Promise of Despair, and The Children of Divorce.


Hello Youth Ministry friends, I’m sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled blog reading, but I have broken transmission to offer you an opportunity.

I wanted to get before you the chance to get a free copy of my book Relationships Unfiltered. As the new school year approaches and you think about volunteer leader meetings and trainings I would like to suggest you take a look at Relationships Unfiltered. It’s written just for this setting with discussion questions and chapters filled with illustrations and stories–but also promises to get you and your team thinking theologically about your core practice this coming school year: forming relationships with young people.

Here’s what I can do: If you’ll email me (aroot@luthersem.edu) I’ll send you a free copy of the book so you can look it over and decide if it would be of help to you and your volunteers. If you’re interested in using it you can then go to Zondervan.com or Zondervan.com/ministry and type in the code 980752 in the “source code” box. Starting August 1 this will give you a 40% discount on as many books as you’d like.

And I’ll also offer this, if you do use the book with your team, I’m willing to do a select number of skype or ichat conversations with you and your team after getting through the book.

- Andrew Root


I bought a copy for all my small group leaders, so the 40% off offer is possibly a great way to save on a quality resource. If you do not have this book, you should at least take up the offer on the free book. I have posted my thoughts on the book in my post here and say:

In my mind, this is the book that every small group leader and mentor needs to read. I have said before, and this book confirms it, that although youth ministry is not easy, it is not complicated, either. In fact, it is fairly simple. It has to do with loving Jesus and loving teenagers. What Root does in this book is tell us what it looks like to love teenagers: focus on the who instead of the how. Root says that the first questions for youth leaders is not How do we get kids to church? or How can we influence kids to be better Christians, but the first questions should always begin with who: Who is this teenager in my small group? Who are the marginalized in our community? Who is Jesus Christ in the lives of these students? Root says that How? questions do not properly attend to the humanity of the individual and instead focus on method. Root argues persuasively against this by grounding his approach in the theology of the incarnation.

WordPress Church Website Tips: Google Docs

A little while ago I wrote a series about using WordPress to build a church website. Since then, we’ve come up with a quick and easy solution for posting our worship team schedule. We have a lady who coordinates and schedules our various people who assist during Sunday mornings. She wanted to be able to post this to our website as a reference for people to be able to have at their disposal.

When she emailed me asking if there was a way to post this to our site, I knew we could do it. I just needed to find the fastest and most efficient way to get it done. Since she always types up the schedule in Microsoft Word, the solution was pretty easy: Google Docs. Google Docs lets you create, upload, edit, and share documents online. For this I was interested in uploading and sharing a document.

It takes me about 3 minutes or so every month when she sends me the worship team schedule for the month:

  1. Upload the file to my Google Docs account.
  2. Go to the document and click the share button and “Publish as web page…” then “Publish document.” This gives that document it’s own URL that anyone can see as long as they have the address, like this.
  3. Copy the URL of the document.
  4. Log in to the back-end of WordPress and go to the page where you want the document to appear.
  5. Paste the URL into an iframe. (I talk a little bit about using iframes here)

The finished product looks like this. From a design and layout standpoint, there might be better solutions. But from a speed and simplicity standpoint, this gets the job done in a way that we are happy with. You could do the same thing or something similar to post PowerPoints, Excel documents, or PDFs in a way that people can view on the actual page of your website.

I hope this gives some of you some ideas for possible solutions to your needs with your own WordPress church websites.

Want a Free Theological Resource for Ministry?

Free Resource

Suggest an idea in the comments for a free theological ministry resource

My current online course at Luther Seminary is “Overview of Christian Teaching,” an introductory theology class. As part of our final project we can either take an exam, write a 9-12 page paper, or do some project that can be used in ministry (bible study, activity, retreat, powerpoint presentation, website, confirmation lesson or curriculum, etc.)

I would like to try and do the project if possible and would like your input. If you could get yout hands on a robustly theological resource, what would you be looking for? What format? What topic? What age group (I work with junior high and high school but would be interested in doing something for college students or adults as well)? Have you ever bought a theological resource for use in ministry and were disappointed? What would have made it better?

Note that the paper option is in the 9-12 range, so the project itself might not be able to be too in depth, but only provide a snippet of the overall resource (i.e. an outline of a 10-week teaching series with two lessons written out in full). But if I like the topic I might go ahead and finish it out. When I do, I will post it for free for anyone to use.

We are using Roger Olson’s Mosaic of Christian Belief as the basic text, and he uses the following chapters (to help spur your thinking about possible topics–but be creative if you want to go outside the box):

  1. Christian Belief: Unity and Diversity
  2. Sources and Norms of Christian Belief: One and Many
  3. Divine Revelation: Universal and Particular
  4. Christian Scripture: Divine Word and Human Words
  5. God: Great and Good
  6. God: Three and One
  7. Creation:Good and Fallen
  8. Providence: Limited and Detailed
  9. Humanity: Essentially Good and Essentially Estranged
  10. Jesus Christ: God and Man
  11. Salvation: Objective and Subjective
  12. Salvation: Gift and Task
  13. The Church: Visible and Invisible
  14. Life Beyond Death: Continuity and Discontinuity
  15. The Kingdom of God: Already and Not Yet

Leave me a comment of something that might be helpful for you in your ministry.

I would appreciate a tweet about this if you are on Twitter.