Parents + Youth Ministry + Church

Here is an excellent article by Pastor Mike McGarry, “Youth Ministry Bridges Parents and Church.” Some highlights:
The most committed students may see me for four hours on a busy ministry week, but then they go home. Students aren't born into churches; they're born into families. That's God's design, and it's a good one. As youth pastors, we have a great opportunity to help parents be faithful to this biblical command [Deuteronomy 6:4-9]. Be an advocate for families. Resist the temptation to view them as your enemies. They will give account before God for how they raised their kids, so equip them so they can stand without shame and say, "I was faithful to the children you entrusted to me." God created the family and the church. The church is eternal; the family is not. While the family is a sort of mini-church, faithful families ought to submit themselves to a local church, because the local church reflects the universal body of Christ. As a covenant family of faith, we recognize our responsibility to one another. If you're in youth ministry, ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I view myself as a support to parents as they disciple their teenager?
  • Is my youth ministry doing what parents should be doing, or am I empowering parents to reclaim that responsibility?
  • Do I affirm parental authority by encouraging students to be more receptive to learning from their parents, or do I default to siding with students and arming them with arguments to disagree with their parents?
  • Am I ministering to the parents of unchurched kids in my youth ministry as well, or am I only interested in their teenagers?
Read the entire article here.
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