I know this is a big topic right now, Family ministry, and it is, its huge, every blog is talking about it, and with good reason.
I look at when I was in youth group serving on a student leadership team and how committed some of those other student leaders were, and I look at them now from what I see on their facebook page’s. I don’t mean to come off as “look at me and how great I am doing” but I get saddened when I see that they are clearly not living their lives for the Lord anymore.
It’s tough, because I mean I can’t help but wonder what made the difference? I mean, they were in the same youth group as I was, some of them were in the same small group as me, we were all on the student leadership team. We heard the same sermons, the same messages, we did life together. So what happened that I went on to become a Youth Pastor and many of them went on to graduate from church? I mean, honestly, I knew these kids, and they were committed. Some of them often seemed more committed than I did? So what did it?
Here is why Family Ministry has been big to me since I was 18 and first starting out in youth ministry. My parents modeled the faith, they lived it out, they applied what they knew to their lives, and then I would go to youth group, here the Youth Pastor talk, and realize “Oh, thats why my parents do this” or “Thats why they think this way.” I look at my friends who graduated from Church and look at their parents, and their parents were not modeling faith or what it meant to be a Christian at home. It became clear to me very early on that the only effective Youth Ministry would occur where the Youth Pastor was in Harmony with the parents.
Now dont get me wrong, I also know friends who didn’t have Christian parents at all but got invited to church, became committed, and are now Youth Pastors themselves. So Youth Ministry can still be effective without being in Sync with the Parents in these kind of circumstances.
But for the most part, the way you minister to kids who are from the church and the way you minister to kids from outside the church are going to be different, whether you notice it or not. And when it comes to ministering to kids from Church, you don’t have to look far on the internet to see Youth Pastors are starting to really champion this idea that we have to be ministering to the Family.
Odd’s are, your one of those Pastors blogging on this topic, and you already know it. Sweet. But I know for me, its important to evaluate how I’m doing. Because here is the sad thing.
I said earlier this has been my philosophy of ministry since I began, I understand it, I believe in it, I’ve seen it work. But if I’m really honest with myself, as I was late last night, the past few months I have failed at this. Sure, I can pass the blame to the fact that I have taken on so many other tasks with my church including transitioning my Wife into the Children’s Director role to better minister to families, but the fact the of the matter is, I have failed at this important aspect of my ministry.
So how are you doing at it? I have a lot of room for improvement. Do you?