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Bringing Parents Back Into The Picture

Parents. The Original Youth Ministries
(Bringing Parents Back Into The Picture)
Chris L. Tharp

Introduction: To totally minister to youth, we must realize that by ourselves we will be ineffective. This brings to a realization the need of a team, a team composed of members that have the desire, the input, the authority and the expertise needed to effectively guide the youth of today. One of the chief components of this team is the parents of the youth we minister to. Thus, the challenge of youth ministry is two-fold. To reach and minister to our youth, and to, assist minister and to involve the parents of our youth.

I. THE CHALLENGE OF YOUTH MINISTRY: TO CREATE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR SPIRITUAL MATURATION

A. Traditional approaches to youth ministry

1. Programs
2. Events
3. Activities

This is good, but does it have the positive, long-term effect we desire to see in those we minister to?

B. The forgotten factor

1. God has equipped each youth with their own personalized “Youth Minister”
2. Deut. 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…”
3. Each parent is anointed of and instructed by God to minister unto their children

II. PARENTS INVOLVED IN YOUTH MINISTRY

A. Biblical examples of the impact parents have in the spirituality of their youth

1. Judges 2:7-11 A generation evolved that did not know God for themselves, we see that they turned to idolatry

Why – Because their parents did not become actively involved in communicating their faith, and experiences in building their childrens’ relationship with God

2. A positive example

a. Jacob – ten sons reared with Jacob as a father
b. Israel – two sons (Joseph, Benjamin) lovers of GI reared with Israel as father
The offspring molded their lives in the pattern set before them.

B. Profile of the relationship between youth minister and parents/A survey Group Magazine Nov. 1981; page 24

1. Parents

a. Aren’t aware of their childrens’ spiritual growth or spiritual needs
b. Think highly of the youth minister
c. Are concerned but not involved in youth ministry
d. Do not communicate with the youth leader
e. Are not aware if their children have problems in the youth group
f. Should communicate more with the youth leader
g. Need ways and opportunities to feel a part of the youth program

2. Conclusion: Parents are not in touch with their youth spiritually, but have an interest in greater involvement

III. ANSWERING THE CHALLENGE

A. Realizing the enormity of the task before us, we recognize the necessity of employing the most effective means of reaching and ministering to youth

1. Effective programming
2. Positive environment
3. Exemplary leadership
4. A STRONG PARENTAL NETWORK

IV. DEVELOPING A PARENTAL NETWORK

A. Understand that you must take the initiative

1. Open lines of communication with parents
2. Don’t expect immediate acceptance

B. Show concern for the parents’ role

1. It is easy for parents to feel like they are extraneous
2. See situations through their eyes

C. Involve parents in programming

1. Drive the bus
2. Ask their advice in different areas
3. Help coordinate and plan

D. Create programs for parents

1. Parent nights
2. Parent correspondence
3. Father/son activities
4. Mother/daughter activities
5. P.A.C.T.

Conclusion: Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old (puberty) he will not depart from it.”

The above article, “Parents. The Original Youth Ministers (Bringing Parents Back Into The Picture)” is written by Chris L. Tharp. The article was excerpted from the North American Youth Congress Notebook, UPCI Youth Division, which was published in 1989.

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

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