There’s a healthy buzz in student ministry world around the idea of becoming more family focused in our approach to ministry. I believe it to be a healthy discussion as there are many things that simply need to change in how we are executing student ministry. Here at The Summit, our Student Ministry exists to partner with families in raising up a generation of students that are passionate about Christ and his mission both locally and globally. For some Student Pastors, there’s a bit of cringing that happens when they hear the phrase family focused/friendly because of a few organizations and local churches that have made it their aim to take a firm stand on the idea that Youth Ministry is unbiblical. I disagree with this stance strongly, believe their arguments have some validity, but their conclusion is simply flawed. However, it does bring to the table a healthy reality that student ministries have tried to do ministry apart from families for far too long, and it’s time we start considering how we do it with them. With that being said, over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be posting some practical ideas on how we (as Student Ministries) can do a better job of “with.”
Whatchu had said? Missiological Insight? Never met her, she sounds like a nice lady though! Here’s what I mean: As Student Pastors, we are missionaries to sent to a culture that has a distinct language, lifestyle, rhythm and worldview. Just like a missionary sent to an UPG, we’re to become experts in teenage culture; learning how to speak their language, connecting with them, identifying the areas and places they spend time, asses their worldview, and go to them with the truth of the gospel!
But where we fall short is that we take that insight and we don’t share it with the parents! A student ministry that cares about the family takes its insights and shares them with parents. We want to give parents a glimpse into the reality of the way of life in which their teenagers live. Why? So they might better understand, engage and teach their children to love Christ as they disciple them in the home. This is a great form of partnership.
How do I share my insights with parents? Well, there are several platforms you can use. Here are a few suggestions:
- Parent Classes/Forums: Provide a time where you can speak to parents on insights you have learned on teenage culture and how the gospel has implications on each and every area of that culture.
- Blog about your insights and share them with parents.
- One on one meetings with parents. Don’t overlook the value of spending time one on one with parents over a cup of coffee or a meal.
- Use Social Media to direct them to resources that give insight on specific issues.