Class Notes

Good morning class. Yesterday  we covered the topic Teens in Crisis and I hope you did your homework, well, at least George Lynch did. Thanks George, you get a gold star. The rest of you: I’ll see you after class.

Today’s topic comes from Craig Fullerton, and we are looking at the issue of parents. Let me break down the situation, in a  humorous and slightly serious way, take notes

How Parents See Us : Youth Pastors “work’ at my church. They are pad to “run” my youth program. If I disagree with said program or preaching, I can say “boo” and you should stop  what you are doing.

How We See Ourselves: I am like Keanu Reeves in Constantine, I slay demons and parents. I work in God’s church. I defend the program from any and all enemies who threaten it.

Funny or not, this is too often the narrative and if we are going to make any real progress, everyone has to do their part, and it starts with us changing our attitude towards parents.

Parents Are Not The Enemy

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

We probably spend way to much time alone, in an office, wondering what our “enemies” are doing and plotting and not enough time bringing the life of Christ to hurting people. O.k… maybe that’s just the way I used to be. Now, I try to spend less time in the office and more time connecting by visiting parents in their homes, work, etc and involving them to the degree they can be involved. If we spend more time taking the fight to the “darkness”, we won’t be spending our time building bunkers around our youth program waiting for it to show up.

Home Work

1. Call, Google, research other youth ministries and how they are equipping parents to be parents rather than facilitators of our programs.

Here is one link and another

2. Redefine your parent meeting, 90% of the time our meetings are informational. How you we go from an informing to an equipping meeting? Better still, stop having meetings. How would you answer this question: If you were never allowed to have another parent “meeting” how would you equip/inform them?

3. Write down 10 things you are not happy with about your parents. Now, write down the opposite or the way you would like to see your parents. Now, look at your calendar and decide how you can start to turn  it around with out having a meeting. Make it a year long endeavor instead of a quick fix.

That’s it. Class dismissed. Leave your homework in the comments section.

On to Lesson 3 : How To Get Your Group Energized and Growing


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  1. OK.. Here (again, bit of a brown noser in class… I know)
    #1 is going to take some time… need an assignment extension
    #2 I’m not real sure…. I can “do meetings” guess it’s all I know right now. I Like what was said about “going to the parents”, but honestly… some of the parents of our students scare me… (and I’ve been to prison!)
    #3 I don’t need ten, I have one major… Most are detached from the church and child’s faith all together
    I know parents are not the enemy, but I haven’t even begun to think along the lines of ministry to the parents yet. Guess the best time to start planning is now.

  2. Craig Fullerton

    Actually, the parents I was talking about would never even attend a parents meeting. These are people who basically ignore their children, who don’t care unless their kids are drunk, high, imprisoned or pregnant – and may not care even then. They are not interested in being equipped. Their kids are considered by them to be an accessory or a diversion at best. The parents who may attend my parents meetings are already doing a great job of parenting in most cases. The parents who NEED to be at any meetings are simply not there.

  3. Pingback: Summer School For Youth Workers: Dealing With Teens In Crisis | Equipping Youth Workers to Disciple Teens

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