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Helping parents become spiritual leaders: Doug Fields [video]

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Doug Fields and tap into his wisdom. One of the things I’ve been wrestling through myself for the past two years or so is how do we help parents become the spiritual role models and leaders God calls them to be? How can shift from a youth ministry that enables parents to outsource their teen’s spiritual development to the “paid professional” youth pastor and take responsibility for it themselves? And when that happens, how can the youth ministry and the church as a whole support that to ensure that it’s successful?

I’ve been beating all around this bush with the ministries I’ve been involved in, trying to figure it out. And, to be quite honest, I don’t really feel like I’m getting anywhere. When I talk with Doug Fields about it in the video below, I think some of my frustration comes out a little. Thankfully, Doug is much wiser than I and has exponentially more experience than I do. His response is reassuring and helpful.

Watch the video of my brief discussion with Doug Fields about youth ministries can help parents become spiritual leaders for their children.

NOTE: This video is enabled for 3D viewing! If you have 3D glasses nearby, put them on and click the little 3D icon in the YouTube player. For best results, view it fullscreen in HD.

QUESTION: How do you partner with parents in your youth ministry?

I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below. Or even better yet, if you’d like to post a video response to my video on YouTube so we can actually see and hear you tell your story, here’s the link to easily submit a video response to my video with Doug.


Posted on October 11, 2011

  • This is great. It was a perfect 3 minute video with Doug that confirmed some things I had been thinking I need to work harder towards. Other then a parent meeting, and a monthly news letter or even weekly emails. Does anyone else out there have fun creative ways to connect parents to their role as the spiritual leader and example in their kids life?

    • I used to have open house parent dinners at my house where they could come over and we could just talk, both one-on-one and together in a large group about these kinds of issues.

  • Exactly the discussion for effective children, preteen, and teen ministry.

  • Getting the students and parents worshiping together regularly at least in the same room is essential. There are some churches where a child can go to a separate church "class" and never worship alongside his/her parents and that can potentially last until the child is 18. I'm not going down the road of the family integrated church movement because I think that is a bit extreme. I do know that one of the most formative things in my life as a kid/teenager was spending time in the worship service with my parents. I got to see at the very least my parents opening a Bible, singing praises to God, taking notes from the sermon etc… If we are going to see any kind of connection in the discipleship of children from their parents, churches HAVE to begin to employ a strategy to see families worship together more often.

    • I'm curious to hear why you think the "family integrated church movement" is extreme. Care to share what the movement is and why it's extreme?

  • I've been in student ministry for 27 years, and have served in 4 different churches. At my current church, from day one I've communicated that the parents are the disciplers, the main "youth ministers" for their kids, and a major goal of mine is to help them do that. Most of our activities are presented as being for Parents and Youth, and I've consistently invited the parents to join us for our Wednesday youth meeting. After 1-1/2 years, we've just recently have had a few parents start coming in with us.

    You definitely have to repeat your message, as often and in as many ways possible, but eventually the shift will start to happen. It probably won't happen overnight, and probably won't involve the majority all at one time. Similarly, with providing resources, there may be only a very few parents that use them, but even if only one parent does, that makes it worth doing. Just stay with it, and over time, this approach that may be new for your church right now will become the norm.

  • Daniel

    Something that my church is trying is to provide seminars that the parents can attend. We are a small church and don't have the resources to bring in a speaker, but other churches in our area do and so we are hoping to piggy-back on what they are doing. Then to make it our own, we can all sit down and discuss what we learned.

    I don't do enough of this, but vision casting is HUGE. It needs to come from us, the pulpit, emails, meetings, conversations, etc. If we want parents to get-it, we have to communicate it over and over and over.

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