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:
- A spiritual drop-off service that is supposed to teach my children about God.
- 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.