Monday, October 5, 2009

Is Youth Ministry Failing our Kids?

Youth ministry as we know it today is failing our children. Last week I went to Dallas to speak at the D6 Conference and discovered startling statistics on how many of our children leave the faith once they leave home. What is D6? It is an orginazation of several national ministries such as Focus on the Family, Randall House Publishing, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and many more that that have banded together to help parents raise their children in the faith. Its mission statement is, "The vision of the D6 Conference is to champion a movement of parents connecting with their kids spiritually to transfer their faith and life values." They are already planning for D6 2010.

The goal of D6 is to equip parents to take an active part in the children's faith process. Statistically, it is proven that if the parent is actively involved in faith discussion, not just taking the child to church, then it is less likely the child will walk away from the faith as an adult.

This subject is close to my heart as I have one child who is not walking with the Lord. Perhaps I failed her as I didn't discuss the issues of her heart. I honestly left that to the youth pastor. I wasn't equipped to delve into theological issues that fed her doubt. (And I was serving in ministry!)

D6 was an eye-opener! It has me fired up about teaching my grandchildren the faith and making it fun, interesting, and eternal. So for the next few blog posts I am going to write about how to do this. Some of the posts will be serious and thought-provoking, others will be funny, and some will be practical. I want your help! Write in and leave some comments about how to keep our children on the narrow path.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,


awelborn said...

This is a wonderful reminder of the gifts the gracious Lord has blessed us with and the job He has given us to do!
One thing we do at our home is talk about failures that we experience too (as mama and daddy). Everyday we struggle; fail and disobey our Heavenly Father. I love praying with my kids, asking for His grace and forgiveness. I pray each of our five children will find humility in Jesus and entrust their lives to Him.

Anonymous said...

I am really glad to hear you encouraging parents to be actively involved in their child's faith. I myself am in youth ministry and I'm married to a youth minister, and I have to tell you, more times than not it's left to us to spiritually raise these teenagers. It's hard to raise your own family of teenagers, but it's really hard to raise 50 or 60 or more teenagers that aren't even your own and that you only get to see a few times a week.

Honestly, though, that's not really our job. It's not our place to take over the role of parents in a child's life. I don't think that means we're "failing" the youth, though.

I know at our church, as far as it is up to my spouse and the volunteers in our program, we are all putting in overtime loving on these kids and teaching them the best we can how to follow Christ. But they still need their moms and dads to get involved.

Thanks for encouraging parents to step up and make some effort to connect with their kids - I'd love for every parent in my church to read your blog over the next few posts!

Keep it up, and please pray for those of us who are trying our best to love kids to the feet of Jesus and to lead them to a place where they can make their faith their own.

Melanie said...

Susanne - i'll be looking forward to your ideas = for my own kids - you are an awesome grandmother to be thinking about impacting those grandkids eternally! melanie