The influence of parents versus the influence of youth ministry: the “other” dualistic battle in youth ministry.
A few years back a book was written about youth ministry that focused mainly on family. The book brought up a very good argument that was closely accurate when applied statistically. The arguments basic premise was that students whose parents were Christians (Christian home) would follow in their parents’ footsteps post-high-school. This led to the point being made that those students who might have had a strong faith in high school, and had parents who were not churched (non-Christian home), eventually stopped attending church after high school. The end result of the book was that regardless of the youth ministry, students from a non-Christian home will fail post high school. Without family being part of youth ministry, ministry is semi-pointless.
When we take part in church and community we begin to notice a few trends. Families at our church can have just as many problems as families who do not attend church. Vice versa, families outside the church can be stronger than families in the church. Most importantly we see students who overcome great challenges at home, to succeed in school, in their walk with Jesus, and life all together.
What is the winning formula?
Do we try to single handedly change life in our student’s homes, do we focus only on the parents, or do we try to find the exact mixture?
Realistically parents make their own choices and our students make their own choices. Yes, parents do have the majority of influence, but the students youth ministry regardless of the parents background still have a great opportunity to change that students life.
If the odds are against us, I say, “bring it on.”