Nowadays, many youth ministries are focusing some time and attention towards parents. After all, almost all of them believe the parent is the primary caregiver (spiritual or otherwise) to their child (based from Deuteronomy 6). How that is carried out in practical terms is still in early development.
Too many times, some youth ministries interpret “support parents” as keeping them involved and possibly having them volunteer. However, that seems to miss the point about “supporting parents”. It’s not about creating space for them in your ministry so they can help you fulfill your mandate. Rather, I believe the point of a youth ministry is to support parents (Christians and non-Christians) as they raise their children (in particular towards Jesus). The emphasis shifts from “how can they help you” to ” how do you help them”.
We’ll explore parental care more in depth in future posts (because there are many questions about how this can be carried out practically speaking). In the meantime, here are some questions to evaluate parental care in your youth minisry:
- Do you know what the parent’s vision is for their child? (Do they know?)
- As a church how much time commitment is expected from parents? (Does that give them enough time to spend with their kids?)
- How much time/energy/attention is spent on parental care?
- How would you define parental care? (How does that definition compare/contrast to your definition of ministering to children and youth?)