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Local Church Ministry

YOUTH: Dad, Mom, and You(th Ministry)

By September 25, 2009June 20th, 20144 Comments

Just before Israel was to enter the Promised Land, the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write a summation of many of the laws and commands that God had given them over the last 40 years. Just after repeating the Ten Commandments, Moses told the people what the greatest commandment was:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4–9, ESV).

The responsibility of teaching this commandment fell to whom?

It appears that the job fell upon parents to be the primary teachers when it came to discipling their children. What was true then is still true today. However, this may not be the case at many small churches and in many churches with youth ministries. Has too much of the emphasis been put upon the youth leaders to teach teens and children the things of God?

Parents can approach youth ministry two ways:

  1. A spiritual drop-off service that is supposed to teach my children about God.
  2. A spiritual supplement service that is there to help me teach my children about God.

The bigger question for churches, pastors, and youth leaders is similar: What is the role of parents in the youth ministry?

This is something that I’d like to take a look at over the next couple of weeks, but first, this is where you come in. Take a moment to read over the following questions and let us know what you think or do.

  • How are parents involved in the youth ministries of your church?
  • How do you deal with those children and teens who do not have Christian parents or Christian parents who are not actively involved in living for God?
  • How do you equip your parents to follow what’s listed in Deuteronomy 6?

It’s all over the place that teens are leaving church (and God) after high school.  The Children of Israel were getting ready to go into the Promised Land, but they needed to be ready with what they were going to face. Giants. Idol worship. Child sacrifice. They had to be equipped. Similarly, ask any teen how they view post–high school and they may get the “Promised Land look” in their eyes. However, are they being equipped as to what they might face?

I’m curious as to what some churches out there are doing and what type of effect is it having. Let us know.

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  • Brian Dare says:

    This is a very beneficial topic. It has always been very important to me to get the parents involved in our youth ministry, but I have not always been sure exactly how to do this most effectively. I’ve seen that a youth ministry that partners with parents and takes it cues from the parents is the most effective youth ministry. At this point in our youth group a handful of our leaders are parents, I have an open door policy for all parents to attend youth group and activities, and I do my best to get to know parents within the church well. Its much more difficult to get to know the parents of teens who do not attend church on Sunday.

    Another topic I’m very interested in, related to this, is the purpose of youth group as an outreach to unsaved youth. Does a youth ministry that focuses “too much” on family ministry hinder evangelism to teens that do not have christian parents? Or is there a way that the two can function well together?

  • Ryan Witt says:

    Great post Nat, I just finished preaching on this passage with our parents. I have been seeking to put these truths into practice in our youth ministry. Thanks for the post.

  • Jayla says:

    I am one of two youth leaders in a very small church, appx 100 members. Our youth have not been involved in quite some time due to lack of leadership and we are now trying to take this challenge on. The youth are starting to come around and becoming interested in our mission trip ideas along with other things we have going on. On the other hand we cannot get any support from several of the parents. We sent a letter and called all the parents to remind them of a meeting we were holding that week with the youth and their parents during the regular youth group time. We had written in the letter what we were wanting to discuss such as mission trips, fun trips, fundraising and commitment from the youth the and parents. Needless to say we had one parent show up out of 9 kids. How can we expect our youth to take us seriously if the parents do not. We are taking this challenge very seriously and are hurt by the lack of leadership and support of the parents. Give us ideas to get our parents involved { Please } !!!!

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