How are we the problem in youth ministry?

How are youth pastors a problem in youth ministry?Last week I posted a somewhat provokative statement on the LISM Facebook Page where we had a pretty lively discussion:

AGREE OR DISAGREE: The main reason you have a job is because parents aren’t doing theirs.

How we respond to that reveals a lot about the assumptions we hold about ministry, parents, the church, and even ourselves.

Some of us took this conversation to a live Google+ Hangout where we could discuss some of this more in-depth in a face-to-face kind of way, which was awesome! Thanks to everyone who joined and contributed so many different viewpoints and perspectives!

One of the points that came up in our Google+ Hangout is that youth ministry seems to be good at identifying all the problems we have and quickly pointing the finger elsewhere. Often that includes placing blame on parents, sr. pastors, board members, schools, sports, and sometimes the teenagers themselves. But, personally, I find it hard to believe we, as youth workers, are completely innocent in contributing to the problems and issues youth ministry faces. Thankfully, no one in the Google+ Hangout disagreed, so we discussed a bit of how we think we contribute to the issues we struggle with.

QUESTION: Regarding this specific issue of some parents being spiritually disengaged from their kids, what role do we play in unintentionally contributing to that problem?

Sometimes we complain about things in youth ministry, but then turn around and enable the very things we say we don’t like.

I’d love to hear how you guys would answer that question because the implications of what we identify here are potentially huge! Comment below and let’s discuss.

And if you’d like to jump in on future live random youth ministry conversations, be sure to follow me on Twitter or like the LISM Facebook Page. I’ve already got another question stirring in my head that I’d love to discuss live with you all sometime soon!

Posted on March 20, 2012

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99