What?! Youth ministries are taking over the role of the parent?

While clicking through endless tags and catagories, I came upon a little article with an idea that I’ve never heard before. The blog is called a manifesto. rethinking ministry (interesting but weird name…) and the blog post of the day was named Rethinking Youth Ministry. The author had read a book which stated that “The majority of our youth programs have displaced the parental role of discipleship.” He believes that the American Youth Ministry has “separated itself from the parental/family unit, and even taken on some parental responsibility.” Essentially, the author is saying that junior high or high school youth group should be a supplement to what is being taught to the student at home. Now, I have no problem with that statement. However, coming from a non-believing household, this doesn’t hold much truth to me however, if any. I come to youth group to receive my spiritual output. The blog post also asks if whether or not youth ministires are becoming so “powerful” that moms and dads are being pushed out of the way, which is an interesting view. Are the youth groups becoming so attractive that parents are not being pursued for answers to questions about the Bible and doctrine? Perhaps, but in the sense that teenagers mostly want things to be spelled out simply from someone that is a few years older than they are.

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting thought. I have to say I disagree with the claim “the majority of our youth programs have displaced the parental role of discipleship.” Especially with the fact that you have not grown up in a Christ-centered household, so your youth ministry is your role of discipleship. I agree with you in saying that a teen might want something spelled out for them from someone only a few years older. It might make more of an impact on their hearts than if they heard it from their parents. I suppose there is a possibility that youth group is more pursued than the wisdom and knowledge of a parent, but I do not see it being a common thing.

  2. Ah! thanks for listening haha! Yeah I admit, I totally didn’t address a situation where the parents are not believers. I cannot say that I have the answer but I feel like there should be a healthy balance between “feeding” students and helping parents “feed” their kids when it is appropriate to do so. I suppose my main thought was that we could be doing more to help parents disciple their kids, particularly Christian parents.

  3. I would always argue for the youth ministry to be involved in the lives of its students, having the staff maintain a fairly good relationship with their families.


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