Reach Out...to parents.
Ministering to students means that you are or will be ministering to their parents/guardians in some way shape or form. How can we be a source of encouragement in the lives of parents? Letís face it, parenting kids is tough, especially during the teenage years. Wouldnít it benefit the local churchís youth ministry to have parents who want their kids to have a deep desire to draw close to the heart of God? Wouldnít it be great if youth leaders and parents could partner together in helping fuel a studentís spiritual fire for God? Just think about the families, churches, neighborhoods, schools, places of work, and cities that would be impacted.
It is my belief and experience that many parents struggle with fueling their kidsí spiritual flames because they really didnít have it in their lives. I have seen this be true for parents that were raised in a Christian home as well as for those who werenít. For those who grew up in Christian home, their parents maybe told them that they should or shouldnít do certain things because the Bible says itís wrong and thatís it. Instead of taking kids through the process of searching scripture and pursuing the heart of God, many Christian parents were raised in homes and churches where following Jesus was boiled down to doís and doníts. Itís no wonder that when we talk about partnering with us to disciple kids, the whole idea can be scary to them.
For many (not all) of them youíll find that no one really took the time to disciple them in a life-on-life (teaching and modeling it) relationship. For other parents who didnít come to faith until later in their life, they have difficulty thinking of themselves discipling their kids because theyíre still so new to it all.
So how can you help enable parents to partner with you to fuel the spiritual flame in the hearts of their students? Let me point you to a resource that can help, itís called Parent Fuel. Itís a book written by Barry St. Clair (author, youth speaker, and founder of Reach Out Youth Solutions). This book focuses on encouraging parents to disciple their kids and their kidís friends. One of the most profound yet simple statements he makes in the book is ďour kids will passionately pursue what they see us passionately pursue.Ē Ever since I read that, I have been re-evaluating what I pursue in my life and asking myself... ďIs this what God wants my kids and I to pursue?Ē
In a society that prizes busyness, hyperactivity, high productivity, achievement, recognition, and fame (usually to the detriment of our spiritual, emotional, and physical health), how is our pursuit of God? In Parent Fuel, Barry has parents first evaluate their own relationship with God. He helps them address their own roadblocks and how to overcome them, so that we can then be about fueling the spiritual flame in the lives of our kids and even their friends.
Let me encourage you to use Parent Fuel as a vehicle to developing a partnership with the parents of kids in your group. This partnership, if given over to the Lord, can transform your life, the lives of parents, and the lives of your students. Parent Fuel is available through the website Reach-out.org and can be purchased as a small group kit (book, DVD, etc). In my opinion itís an investment which can have great ďKingdomĒ dividends.