Root sees ministry – an encounter person to person – as an end in itself, not as a means to some other purpose. He identifies seeing relationships as a way of achieving something we want, even if our motives are good or it is something we want for the other person, as a major flaw in how we relate to one another. Too often, he says, we use relationships rather than treasuring them in themselves as the very point where we share God’s own life in Jesus Christ.
In a culture where people, including Christians, often function essentially as individuals, he emphasises relationships. He uses real-life case studies and examples to illustrate his points and to show how empathy and a Christian view of personhood are vital to ministry at depth. Root traces social changes and the various models of ministry which have emerged as he points to new models for the uncertain situation in which we find ourselves.
The title gives a wrong impression. This is a book for anyone – ordained or not – who is exploring the future of the church.