Youth Workers: Think Like a Parent

Jonathan McKee
January 23rd, 2014

The older my kids get, the better youth pastor I become.

I’ve got a 6th grader headed into our student ministry in just a few short months, and it is causing me to think even more closely about our discipleship plan, our strategy, our teaching scope and sequence, events, summer camp … well, basically everything.

As I move into this stage of life myself, I’m finding 3 key things that would make me really love our youth ministry – making these 3 things I want to key in on to help improve our ministry.

Help me get on your communication lists

Do you send out a parent newsletter? How do I get information about events and activities for my student? When is the next mission trip – and most important, when is summer camp so I can plan our family vacation around it! I want to support you, I just need information so help me get it. Thanks for helping me think ahead.

Don’t keep what happens in youth group or small group a secret
I am a very engaged parent in the spiritual life of my kids. Help me disciple them at home by giving me a heads up on what they’re learning in youth group. If you’re going to talk about sex, give me a heads up. Send home some discussion questions for my family. Push me to disciple my, it is so difficult when I’m complete in the dark. Thanks for thinking of my parenting.

Do lots of stuff, but remember the cost
I love an active youth ministry – but more than a busy youth group just remember I’ve got a finite number of resources and a seemingly infinite number of children. Would you ever consider a multiple-child discount for camp? Are there scholarships for families in need? Do we really have to charge this much or could we find ways to do it at the same quality but less expensive. Thanks for thinking of my wallet.

Got one of your own students in your ministry? How has it helped shape your thinking?

Josh Griffin is the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church and is a co-founder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com, a place to get trench-tested, inexpensive, downloadable youth ministry resources. Follow him @joshuagriffin

Jonathan McKee

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.