Youth Ministry and Family

Youth ministry can be a very tough area to be involved in. There are so many students whose parents aren’t involved in their lives, but then there are also so many students whose parents don’t even care what they do. Yet we have such a small amount of time for such a short period of their lives to be involved in and caring for these students. I really enjoy seeing the students grow and seeing them fall more in love with Christ, but ultimately the responsibility of the students comes to the parents. My job is to point the students to Christ and come alongside the parents as they do their best to help foster the students loves for Christ. The Gospel Coalition has a great blog today on this very topic that is great encouragement to those involved in youth ministry. First, remember who we serve, and then remember that we aren’t the students’ parents.

Parenting with Grace

My dad sent me a couple articles on grace based parenting this morning, and they are very helpful to read. The first is titled, ‘Parent for kids who will make disciples among the lost rather than become saved and satisfied.’ My favorite line from this article is:

Be cautious of only placing kids in “Christian” environments and isolated Bible studies assuming that this will grow them into quality Christian adults. What if it doesn’t?

I know many people who have been so careful about keeping their children protected, yet when the children were finally able to achieve independence, they had a crisis of the faith and were unable to follow the faith that their parents forced upon them any longer.

The second article is titled, ‘What I am NOT suggesting AND three warnings against parenting toward moralism.‘ Again, it’s worth the time to read the whole thing, but the main points are:

1. I am not suggesting that parenting from grace is letting kids do whatever they want.

2. I am not suggesting that parenting from grace never involves discipline.

3. I am not suggesting that parenting from grace avoids focusing on character development.

Blueberry Donuts – Caught Not Taught

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot lately about why students are leaving the church, and even last week wrote a blog on it. Yet as I’ve been doing more reflecting on it, I really think it gets back to the responsibility of the parents. No where in Scripture do I see church leaders being held responsible for what is going on in kids’ lives. Sure, James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” but I don’t see the teachers being held accountable for another persons sin, but I do see it being the parents responsibility for their children (Eph 6:1-4, Deut 6:6-9, Titus 2:4, Proverbs 22:6). Now I want to be careful to not cross into legalism here, and I think many times the phrase “it takes a village” to raise a child is very true. We need the church and the support of the people in the church to help raise children-parents need to be willing to admit they can’t do it on their own. Yet what I see throughout Scripture and in my own life is a very important phrase to remember in being a parent. What kids learn is often caught not taught.

This morning I went to the grocery store to buy some more creamer for my coffee. Every time I go to get creamer I grab a donut on my way. This donut it a blueberry donut, which is my favorite donut for one reason – that’s the exact kind of donut my dad always used to get when I was growing up. I remember there was a donut shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin that my dad would take me to (I don’t remember the name of it) and they had a blueberry donut that my dad apparently really liked and would get every time. Because of that, I would also get a blueberry donut, and they continue to be my favorite to this day. So parents: what are you teaching your kids today? Do they see someone who is following Christ with their whole life, or someone who just goes to church because it’s what they are expected to do? Children are a lot more observant than you might think so be careful: your actions speak a whole lot more than your words.