This is a little off topic but something that weighs heavily on my heart. My son just moved up to youth at church. I am concerned because it appears that the youth minister spends more time on the kids eating pizza, listening to the youth band and playing air hockey than actual teaching. The small groups seem to be led by high schoolers versus adults. There are also times where the youth minister discourages parents from attending youth events. Thoughts? Suggestions?MissusLeataParticipant
I would not allow my kids to attend a youth event that parents were discouraged from attending.
When I was a missionary, I was one of the youth leaders in our little church. We were planning a youth outing once, and one of the young men said, “No parents.” I said,”Yes, parents can come” and the kids got upset. I went to the pastor about it and some of the parents had heard the “no parents” comment and went to him, saying, “my kids aren’t going if we aren’t welcome.” It turned out to be a horrible fiasco. I was told that the boys who initiated the “no parents” issue went to the park the night before with a tent and girls! They joined our activities when we got there. The level of inappropriate behavior was sickening. And I was fit to be tied about it all.
It’s one thing for parents to not want to come, a complete different issue if the students or anyone in leadership doesn’t want them there.
I’m not a big proponent of youth groups because of the experiences I had as a youth and on the mission field. I would only send my kids if it was something exceptional and I really trusted that the leader was discipling my kids and not just trying to give them a fun alternative to “worldly teen life.”
If you aren’t comfortable with a church program, you don’t have to use it. I’ve been in churches where my kids did not participate in the activities aimed at their age. You are the parent and you are in charge.HollySParticipant
We are biblically called to raise our kids in the Word, nothing is mentioned about youth group and Sunday school. I feel like church and devotions are necessary, everything else is optional. I have sent my kids to church camp, overnight events, and youth activities. We skip Sunday school for a few reasons…mostly because I’m not a fan of how they learn there. One of my kids attends catechism. I am fortunate that there are responsible leaders in my church, but not all churches are so fortunate. 😢 Some of the things you mentioned would be red flags for me!
Thanks for the responses!
I really appreciate the responses. Very helpfulLovinMyFamParticipant
I was one of those “no youth EVER” parents until a year ago. My children needed some fellowship/friends outside of our family. I am down to my youngest 2 (age 14) and have zero desire for homeschool groups (been there, done that for 23 years). We allowed our girls to join youth a little over a year ago. Best decision we every made, and again I will say we were all about whole family church service and nothing more until last year.
My girls have made wonderful Christian friends. They have adults leaders who have proven themselves to be wonderful mentors for our daughters and young adult small group leaders. They have worship and a teaching time at most gatherings. There are the occasional movie night, game night, pool party, etc…things like that that are socially focused. But that’s ok because I want it to be a fun friendship making event along with a time of learning and growing closer to the Lord. Godly friendship is part of all of that.
We do attend 2nd service together as a family like we always have. Our youth is offered 3rd service only, so this is an additional service for them. I have watched them become more committed in their walks with God, learn how to minister to their friends, and become very involved with serving since becoming a part of our church youth. It has truly been a win-win.LovinMyFamParticipant
P.S. Parents are invited and encouraged to come to all youth events at our church. If they were not, my children would not attend, period.jill smithParticipant
Hi there, I’m going to say, my husband is a youth pastor and am so shocked to hear that parents arent allowed to participate. We encourage it! What better way for kids to grow. I would seek out a different youth program. Teaching Gods word is crucial now days for sure. Games and music are great but spending time with the kids and showing them how to read the word and apply it to their lives is huge! There are so many young youth age kids that come into our ministry and have heard about God at other churches or read the Bible but dont know how to put into practice. Share this with your youth pastor: We ask the kids every week,
What is God saying to you?
What standing out to you in what we read?
How are you going to put it into practice?
We are passionate about reaching kids for Christ!!! Hope this helps
Thanks for the wonderful input!Sandra WadeParticipant
As a parent of four children (three are currently in the youth group), I am thankful for a pastor who challenges our youth. The preaching that takes place on a weekly basis and at summer camp isn’t watered down. In fact many of our adults drive over for the nightly preaching during summer camp. This link explains my pastor’s vision for the next generation.
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