As a youth minister the last 4.5 years it has become increasingly obvious to me that in order for the youth ministry to be successful, in order for the church to he healthy there must be a focus on the health of the family.
Here are a couple of quotes from a family ministry class I am taking at LCU:
“Therefore, when I advocate that youth ministers take a hard look at the family, I am not suggesting that they take family ministry and add it as number sixty-three on the “when I have time” priority list. What I am advocating is an entirely different paradigm for youth ministry–a paradigm based not on how many kids we can get to meetings but on how effective we can be in leading young people to mature Christian adulthood. After all, is this not the reason we all immersed ourselves in youth ministry in the first place? It is time to return to a vision for this purpose. The day has arrived when leadership must courageously, and sometimes radically, take steps toward embracing the nurturing roles of the students’ nuclear biological family and spiritual extended family. The time has come for “parenting” rather than “orphaning” structures” – Mark Devries
A couple of thoughts on the family:
I agree that the way we practice ministry in churches promotes the problem of fragmentation by generational groups. What would happen to our churches if we realigned our ministries to incorporate a sense of togetherness. For instance what if on Sunday morning Bible class we sent families to class together? And instead of keeping our kids out of the worship assembly we included them, what if service projects and mission trips were advertised and promoted as opportunities to serve in ministry together. A shift is needed in our churches, one that will capture the needs of families, one that paint a portrait of a real, vibrant faith community, and promote and an ongoing faith dialogue between parents and kids. I suspect that a lot of the families that our ministries currently service are not in constant faith dialogue with each other. What I mean by this is this, that moms and dads aren’t talking about the Word of God, that they aren’t looking for the work of God in the world, or can’t see it because of the busyness of their family calendar. Families are to busy, stressed, and tired, and relate to one another with en empty tank.
Any of y’all out there asking the same things? Or even thinking similar thoughts? How is your congregation ministering to the whole families?