Jeff & I attended a youth minstry seminar thingy today in Laurel. It was excellent. I don't mean to sound haughty when I say we really didn't learn alot. Rather, we had our convictions and our ministry goals affirmed today. We are moving in the right direction, and that is always nice to hear. We did get some new ideas for ways to reach those goals today though, so that is good.
The focus of the seminar was--you guessed it-Partnering with Parents in Ministry. Since becoming parents (13 years ago), God has shown us the importance of parents in a child's life. The Bible is pretty clear about a parent's responsibility in a child's life, and I think it is sad that so many parents think that it is the church's responsibility to spiritually train their children. Don't get me wrong, I do believe the church has its place...but that place is to come alongside parents to HELP them in that training & to encourage them in this MARATHON (not a sprint, mind you)that we call parenting. Deuteronomy 6 speaks clearly to this responsibility:
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Of course, this is also a Scripture that convicted me about the merits of homeschooling, but that is another post for another day. ;-)
So our job is to encourage parents to accept their God-ordained responsibility to their children. The hard part is finding creative ways to do that when our typical church model has excluded parents from student ministry for so many years... Just food for thought...