Monday, June 18, 2012

Youth Ministry in a Nutshell, Helping Parents

Youth Ministry in a Nutshell, Helping Parents that's right, Youth Ministry is about helping parents. Years ago the philosophy of Youth Ministry was to be the best that you could be and take care of the teens APART from the parents. The parents could rest assured that their teen was in capable hands and someone that knew their children better than they did who didn't need their help.

This model of Youth Ministry was the norm for a long, long time. This has become known of late of teaching the parents to be Dry Cleaner Parents. You know the dry cleaner is where you drop off something that needs to be cleaned up, fixed up, pressed and nicely returned to you in a little over an hour. Parents were taught to vacate their responsibility to become the number one discipler in the lives of their teens. This is not the right way to do this, nor is it even biblical. The parents are to be the front runner and the Youth Minister, Pastor, leader, whatever, is to help the parents.

So I am here to show the parents something and offer some help. Here goes. Have you ever thought about becoming a Missionary? Now don't panic. Learn from what the question is teaching about missions. A missionary that is going to a foreign field has to learn the culture of the people they are to work with. The nationals will have their own language and the missionary must learn to speak, understand, and interpret the language. There is a whole new set of foods to learn to eat, try to like, and although it is NOT something the missionary would have chosen; partake with the nationals to build relationships.

The locals always have their own way of dressing and many times it just doesn't make sense to the missionary. However, to reach the locals there is a way of 'embracing' many of the styles, not to offend, but to share Jesus even in the dress. Then there is the music of the locals. There is the music that moves them, they cry to, get angry with and dance like you have never seen before. This too is part of being a missionary.

Parents you have to learn to be a missionary.
  1. Teens today have their own language. Learn it. You may have to understand text-ing in a new way. It is like a short hand that is used to improve speed and to lessen the amount of data going over the network saving you money. You don't have to talk like a teen, in fact, don't; it's kind of creepy. Learn to listen, understand and communicate with your teen. I gotta go to the next one, CUL8r (See you later) ; )
  2. Teens eat fast food all the time. Sure you are the parent and "Doritos" at 11pm are not the most nutritious things to eat but sometimes, give in. Students eat crazy food choices, and drinks such as "monster, bull, star, extra caffeine and sugar energy drinks" all the time. Moderation may be in order but saying no way is a sure way for them to sneak and do it anyway. Students eat crazy stuff that you CAN NO LONGER TRY without medication. Bet back in the day you downed some stuff like crazy as well
  3. Teen Fashion. Buckle up. Everyday there is someone sitting somewhere dreaming up a new way to wear, or just barely wear, their clothes. Let's face it, a teen wearing a Bennie cap in the summer is really crazy but IF IT IS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING, well you know. Be aware of the fashions. You don't have to agree with it but understand it. Modesty is still hot so keep that in mind. The culture of our teens today will wear a fashion that is out there or it will be retro like it is brand new. Why? Because the are trying to be individualistic, while being like everyone else.
  4. Teens and the music they listen to. Yep, you remember well what you listened to and probably your parents too said something like, "I don't understand it", "I don't get it", or "Turn that down!" We don't have to like it but we do need to understand the lyrics, the anger or attitude that goes with it or the meaning behind it all.
I know as a parent you may be thinking, 'Well when I was there age we never..." can I be honest with you for a second? You were never this age IN this age! School is different now. Homework, school work, life in general is different now.

Find a great Youth Ministry that is teaching biblical truths and get involved in it. You don't have to teach your own student but get plugged into the ministry. Learn to listen to and hang with students. You don't have to be cool, just accepting and influence a ggeneration like never before. Parents every Youth Ministry I know, needs you. You need them!

You see when you think about it, Youth Ministry in a Nutshell, Helping Parents!

Stay in the Word
ETSOYC 42-44

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