Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Should the Youth Pastor Disciple Parents?

Youth ministry has had a shaky relationship with parents. For far too long, the stereotype of youth ministry has consisted of zany young adults leading teenagers in a bunch of crazy activities that are then punctuated by a short Bible lesson at the end. In reality, youth ministers often emphasize the importance of parents in the lives of students; the problem lies in that there has been a huge disconnect between that affirmation and what the ministry actually looks like. Over the last few years, youth ministry has increasingly been flooded with fresh calls to remember the central role of parents.

We are now entering a period where thoughtful youth workers are trying to answer the question, “What does a youth ministry look like when parents are consistently affirmed as the primary spiritual leaders in their teenagers’ lives?” One of the largest gatherings for youth workers today is the Orange Conference, which is solely focused on helping churches and parents come together to make one other stronger rather than competing for the priority of their teens.

Jonathan Mansur’s article recently sounded this alarm. Parents ought to be the primary disciple-makers in a teenager’s life. The reality, however, is that many parents neglect that responsibility and if someone else does not step in, the world will gladly take that role. As youth workers fill those voids, there is a tension where they struggle with question, “How can I pass this beautiful responsibility onto the parents who should be fulfilling it in the first place?” Keep reading

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