So much of what passes for pastoral ministry resources these days is either thinly veiled pragmatism or a sentimental call to return to a bygone era. Thankfully, Andy Root defies that trend. Instead, he has developed a deep and robust theology of pastoral ministry that engages the imagination and invites embodiment. He achieves this by interacting with compelling research drawn from a wide variety of disciplines that he thens interprets in (and for) the context of the local church. The Relational Pastor is an important book whose time is now.
senior pastor of Jacob's Well Church and author of Intuitive Leadership
Several years ago, I encountered the work of Andrew Root, and while it was primarily focused on youth ministry, it radically changed the way I engaged my own work as a congregational pastor. With The Relational Pastor, Root takes the seeds of what I saw and coaxes them into a full-fledged tree, teeming with wonderful fruit. "By reorienting our perspective from relating to others as 'the sum of their decisions' to 'a mystery to be encountered,' Root has offered ministers of all stripes the opportunity to live and encounter the incarnation, not as a doctrine to be learned but a reality to be lived.
-Rev. Landon Whitsitt,
author of Open Source Church
I have long suspected the 'folk ecclesiology' of most evangelical churches could not support missional and/or incarnational ministry for the long haul. Andrew Root's The Relational Pastor helps me see this problem anew in a helpful way. In the process he points a way forward to a robust theology that grounds the church in our God who has become flesh in Jesus Christ. What this means for personhood, relationship and community is astounding. Thank you, Andrew Root. I needed this book.
B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, and author of The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness
I cannot imagine any pastors going through seminary today not reading this important book.
professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary (IL)
I have always been fascinated by the African Ubuntu saying: 'I am because we are.' The suggestion that without you I cannot be myself is radical and transformative. Such a way of understanding human persons opens up a very different relational space, one which stands in stark contrast to our individualistic assumptions and the whole idea that we are 'our own people.' Andrew Root understands this dynamic; more than that, he shows us how we might live it. With grace and imaginative commitment he carves out a quite beautiful model of relational discipleship and relational church. If you are interested in what love looks like, this book is for you.
Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen
In an age where connecting with people via technology and social media has quickly become the norm, Andy Root has spent much energy reminding youth pastors what it means to connect and be in relationship with others in the context of their ministries. The Relational Pastor is a convicting call to pastors at all levels to remember what it is to be Christlike and incarnational in regards to our relationships. This is a must-read for any pastor who believes that relationships with people are at the core of not just ministry but of our understanding of Jesus Christ and our intimacy with him.
pastor of student ministries, Christ Community Church
This is a scary book. It threatens to expose the tricks we pastors use to influence some and to motivate others; it threatens to uncover our egoism and reveal how often we protect our fiefdoms. The Relational Pastor is a call to live authentically. It's an invitation to be honest about who we are and what keeps us awake at night; and finally, it's a call to the only life worth living--a real one.
-Rev. Laura S. Truax,
senior pastor, LaSalle Street Church
Root gives compelling and well-reasoned arguments to the many benefits of ministers becoming "relational pastors."
Worship Leader, March/April 2013