If you read Scripture, it’s pretty hard to argue the importance of role of parents in passing down faith. They are meant to be the primary spiritual influencer in the life of their kids. All kinds of research and studies of teenagers and their families support this as well. Parents are still the main influencers in the lives of their teenagers.
So if all of that is true, then I have a question…
Why do so many of us depend on the youth minister or youth ministry in our church to be the primary spiritual influencers?
Now, I’m not here to take you on a guilt trip at all. I just believe that if we can work towards a healthy balance in this area it would change our families.
You see if the spiritual influence in your teenager’s life were a meal, then your influence would be the meat. The influence of your youth ministry would be the appetizer or the dessert.
Just ask your youth ministry team. They would be glad to explain to you that they only see your teenager a few hours a week at the most. That is no comparison to the amount of time you spend with your teenager.
Now don’t get me wrong. Youth ministries are vitally important to you, your teenager, and your family. They teach your teenager Scriptures, connect them to a small group, and create amazing shared experiences for them.
But any healthy youth ministry serves a supporting role to the ministry that happens between parent and teenager.
So what can you do about it? First of all, don’t settle for just dropping your teenager off at church. Second, refuse to be passive about faith in your home. Try setting a regular appointment with your teenager where you can discuss your faith together. Finally, engage the youth ministry that your teenager is a part of. Find out what they are teaching and learning. Partner together together with your youth ministry team in the faith development of your teenager.
One way Second Baptist will be resourcing you in this area is the Rites of Passage experience, which we will roll out this Fall. We’ll give you more information as we get closer!