Creating Missional Parents
As I hung up the phone with a student’s mom, it occurred to me that this parent was doing a better job at youth ministry than I was. (I get that same feeling when I watch Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights, but that’s the subject of another post.) Have you ever thought about how much time parents spend with students who are not their children? Parents are driving carpools, hosting sleepovers, having parties and events, attending school functions, and just being in and around the community.
I’m constantly aware of my limitations as a youth pastor in the areas of time and influence. I often wish I had more time with a particular student or group of students, and I wish the same for my volunteers.
During that phone call, I heard a parent express concern for a student who was not hers, and I realized that many parents are doing youth ministry—they just don’t realize it.
What if you were to cast a vision for the parents of your students to help them begin to see themselves as youth pastors? What if you were to share with them ways that they could minister to students within the contexts of their everyday routines?
One idea is to invite parents to make a conscious effort to pray for students during their time in carpool each day.
As parents listen to students’ conversations and hear the joys or concerns of the day, they could pray on the students’ behalf for those things. Imagine the excitement and confirmation when any of the prayers are answered! This would also give parents an opportunity to share with their own sons and daughters the practice of prayer—it’s a way to share their faith with their own children. And this is just one idea—there are many ways parents can minister to the youth in their lives.
Parents care deeply about their kids and their kids’ friends.
Why not invite parents to live out their faith and get a chance to see God move?
Kyle Bender has been in full-time ministry for over 10 years. You can follow Kyle at his blog parentingthoughts.com. Kyle, his wife, and 3 daughters live in Austin, TX.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.