Had the privilege to attend an event at a local church where a new friend of mine is the youth minister, this event was titled “Teaching the Dance”. The premise of the event was to teach parents how to be spiritual leaders in their homes. While I seemed to be missing the context of “dance” as it seemed to connect to a current/recent sermon series, the event seemed to be a complete home run for Josh and the ministry he leads.
Before I dive into the event, let me give some context. Many more experienced and wise youth workers have pointed out the fact that we seem to reverse the natural roles of parenting and ministry to teenagers. When we explicitly or implicitly program our create environments in which the youth workers are the primary spiritual influencers and the parents are there to supplement we are sinning (missing the mark or intended). Therefore student ministry is just as much about discipling parents as it is students. This principal is even more compounded by our increasingly post-Christian culture.
The event itself was setup like a late-night talk show complete with host at a desk, interviewees on couches, a live band, top-10 lists, and various shenanigans. A speaker was brought in (apologies for not remembering the name) and she broke down the evening into three aspects of home life: a safe, fun, and holy home.
Much of the information centered around modeling healthy behavior and being involved. For instance one of the many things I took away was the practice of grace in homes as opposed to justice. Now this does not mean things were simply ignored but true repentance was acknowledged and appropriately acted upon. Along with this was the idea that this is a two way street and that when the parent screws up they have to apologize to the child.
Other principals such as being united in boundaries and enforcement, celebrating uniqueness, and frequent laughter that may seem more basic were discussed. While the material was great the concept was incredibly refreshing.
So for me the question is how do I assist parents so they can run with the fact that they are the primary influencers of their children?
Thoughts? Ideas? Comments? would be greatly appreciated.