We are all in Ministry?

I have worked as a youth sponsor for many churches over the years. I love to work with the kids, it is the parents that often seem to make the whole effort not worth my time.

I have generally encouraged teens to ask some tough questions regarding thier faith. I enjoy when they stump me with questions regarding faith. I have found that parents are not as encouraged when their children ask questions. Now i realize that “Few things engross the hearts and concerns of Christian parents more than the spiritual lives of their children. Parents long for their children to choose to be followers of Jesus”(Smith, 207). I realize that parents are scared when thier children start to ask questions and appear to wander around slightly outside faith. What really gets my goat is when parents ask me to teach thier child something different.

Here is why this bugs me so. Most times when it is asked the conversation continues and at some point the parent says something along these lines. “But I have entrusted you to teach my child about God.” I admit that I have not been the most compassionate about this statement. I usually respond with “Well God has asked you to teach you child. I certainly hope that I am not the only one teaching them about how to live a Christian life. You are the one who is ultimately responsible for it.”

Why is it that many parents pawn off their responsibility to teach their children on the youth pastors and volunteers? I know that we will have a different influence on thier kids than they have, but we are there to come alongside parents with assistance not to take over the job of teaching.

Parents I encourage you to take the time to teach your children. Do not leave this important task to just your pastors and youth leaders. If you do, don’t get upset when something you don’t quite agree with is taught to your children. If you want to ensure that your children are taught the values that you hold then teach them the values.

Parents come alongside your pastors and volunteers and realize that they are there to help with the teaching that you have given your children. Encourage your pastors and volunteers don’t scold them for challenging your children. Take the responsibility for teaching your children and don’t cast it on another.

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~ by curtismchale on November 15, 2007.

5 Responses to “We are all in Ministry?”

  1. Great post. Relevent! It is sad that this is the experience for all to many people growing up. It shows also that the parents are not rooted. But it is sad that this has happened for far too long, I wish my parents were rooted but sadly it became my struggle to find what faith is and was I still struggle to this day. It goes further though we see this in childrens education or the lack there of, social issues, moral issues, sexual issues we see a generation of self involved baby boomers allbeit well intentioned at times failing there children. Leaving them to fend for their faith, moral cumpasses, sexual responsibilities and what ever else you’d say for them selves. It’s not just a suggestion to teach your children it’s also a comandment. How many heartaches will you watch your children go through for lack of knowledge this is why God said his people are destroyed.

  2. Parents do much wrong, as you said bohemianprose, by their children by not giving some direction. They want to treat them like little adults when they still don’t have the knowledge and experience to deal with the decisions. They expect them to teach themselves when they are still waiting to be taught by their parents.

  3. Every moment of parenting is a teaching moment. there is not one that is not. Even the most intimate moments we have teach something. Before a certain age, when our kids are very young, most impressionable, and their brains are literally developing and growing he most quickly, their sense of identity and self is literally absorbed into the existence of the parent. To push teaching off of your shoulders on that of someone else is as irresponsible as it is developmentally unsound.

    I see this among all of my teacher friends in their schools and I see it in other arenas as well. The perception is often “I pay my taxes for you to teach my kids” and they absolve their own role as teacher/parent. I think that this kind of parenting philosophy is disheartening and quite shameful as our kids become vessels of current human capital rather than the holders of the future of our civilization.

  4. My wife and I have also been youth leaders. We felt it was our job to give the kids the opportunity to say things that they might feel awkward telling their parents, such as quetioning their faith or wondering about tricky Bible questions. We always encouraged them to honor their parents and listen to their leading, but we also encouraged them to work through their questions and doubts whenever we were together.

  5. Renaissanceguy:

    That is exactly what I have tried to do. I have, obviouisly, been aggravated when parents find out and say I am leading their children astray. I feel that parents today push off the responsibility of teaching their children more than they take it on.

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