Youth Worker Training Series

2021 - 2022 Events

Youth workers are our heroes! We believe in what you do to help students grow in their relationship with Jesus. Our desire is to partner with you and offer training events throughout the school year that will inspire, challenge, and equip you to minister to youth and young adults. Youthfront’s Youth Worker Training events are theologically rich as well as practical.


Andy Root – September 30, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Erik Leafblad – October 7, 3 – 5 p.m.


SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Youthfront HQ – 4600 Rainbow BLVD, KCK, 66103
$10 – includes Joe’s KC BBQ

Free ZOOM option available to those who wish to participate remotely.

Youth workers know what it is to watch parents and youth participate in multiple other activities. Most families have limited time and space for youth ministry activities or youth group. Often parent(s) (and youth) express a desire to participate, but say they have no time. A parent might even say, “Sorry, we haven’t gotten her to youth group in the last six months, it’s just that gymnastics is kind of her thing; it’s really who she is.” This can be frustrating for youth workers. Some respond by contending that youth ministry needs to up the commitment level and move higher up the ranking of things. In this presentation, we’ll together explore how this approach can’t work, because the decisions parents and young people make exist inside very deep conceptions of what makes for a good life.  In a time of limited time and unlimited options, youth ministry can’t—and I’ll show, shouldn’t—compete in the ranking of important activities. Youth ministry should not be just another THING (like basketball, violin, or debate club). Instead, we should turn toward STORY to reimagine what youth ministry can be for.

Andrew Root is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary, USA. He writes and researches in areas of theology, ministry, culture and younger generations.  His most recent books are The Congregation in a Secular Age (Baker, 2021), The End of Youth Ministry? (Baker, 2020), The Pastor in a Secular Age: Ministry to People Who No Longer Need God (Baker, 2019), Faith Formation in a Secular Age (Baker, 2017), and Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science (Fortress Press, 2018).


Dr. Erik Leafblad




a youth worker dialogue

3-5 p.m. | Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021
Youthfront Headquarters, 4600 Rainbow Blvd.

Who is the God who ministers to us? When can we expect God’s presence? Where do we encounter God? These questions frame a theological approach to ministry and will serve as an entry into discussion of what we do as ministers. By exploring concepts of socialization against this theological framework, we’ll discuss how ministry is more artistic than practical, more skillful than strategic, and ultimately more strange than typical.

Join us on Thursday, Oct. 7, for a casual conversation with Dr. Erik Leafblad, Youthfront’s theologian-in-residence this fall.

About Erik
Erik Leafblad is assistant professor of Missional Ministries and Practical Theology at Bethel University in St Paul, MN. He works to help students overly familiar with their faith to become de-familiarized so as to become open to the elusive, but transforming presence of God in the world. Or, to put flesh on their theology, to let it move into the streets. Before becoming a professor, he was on staff at Youthfront, where this disposition was first cultivated.

When he’s not doing this work as a professor, he’s parenting three kids, coaching basketball, or listening to good music. He has missed live music fiercely during the pandemic.

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!