Awakening Teenagers Desire to Follow in the Way of Jesus
"Like a prophet from the Old Testament, Morgan Schmidt has called out youth ministry for its idol-making, asserting with flare and depth that youth ministry has been captured by desires other than encountering the living God."
Dr. Andrew Root, Luther Seminary
What if teenagers wanted to follow Jesus, not just avoid hell?
Desire makes us who we are. What teenagers want whether they possess it, long for it, are terrified by it, deny it, pursue it, or give up on it impacts their relationships, dictates their actions, forms their character, and shapes their beliefs. So if they actually want Jesus or the church or the kingdom, then they re more likely to keep wanting their faith beyond youth group.
Woo connects teenagers good desires with the Good News. It s an invitation to reimagine the church as a place where students desires are honored; where they will encounter the One who desires and can participate with God in restoring the world.
Woo isn t another method or gimmick that will bring students flocking to youth group. Instead, it suggests a way of being one that begins with us. This isn t sexy youth ministry, but it s good.
What Others are Saying
Morgan Schmidt is a snappy and relatable writer. But above all, she is a prophet blessed with a winsome honesty that sneaks up on you as you re planning your umpteenth mission trip and whispers: Recalculate. For Schmidt, being human boils down to desire; and youth ministry that s honest is about desire too the desires of youth for God, the desire of God for them. With Woo, Morgan Schmidt joins a new class of practical theologians taking aim at the false gods driving the youth ministry industry, and she restores our focus and our hope on young people s God-given desire to become, belong to, and worship as the body of Christ. Woo completely won me over.
Kenda Creasy Dean, Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church
Woo is, hands down, one of the most sensible and simultaneously exhilarating books about pastoring students that I have read in a long time. Morgan Schmidt wisely guides us to awaken desire rather than run from it, equipping us to form desire to follow in the way of Jesus. Woo invites leaders to see students as real people, with real longings that matter. Don t let the warmth and wit of Morgan s writing fool you this changes everything you ve known about youth ministry.
Dwight J. Friesen, Associate Professor of Practical Theology @ The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, coauthor of The New Parish
Woo is a book about desire, the desire of young people to be authentic and real. It is also about the desire for those who serve the Church to be the midwives who help them do just that. Knowing Morgan Schmidt, I can tell you this book is authentic and real. Here is offered one devoted person s theology and praxis around the ministry to youth. I highly recommend it, and I thank God for this offering to the Church.
The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, VIII, Bishop of Olympia
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