I grew up attending non-instrumental churches of Christ. My Great Grandfather was a song leader. My Grandfather was a song leader. My mother would have been a song leader, but she grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, and she was the wrong gender for that at the time.
I have been involved with the churches of Christ since before i was born.
Growing up, my parents were very involved in the local congregation, and when I’d visit my grandpa, he’d have me up on stage leading singing with him. When I got into 3rd grade we moved to West Monroe, Louisiana where I lived until I graduated High School. We attended the same church from that point on, and my parents were very involved. There was hardly an event that we weren’t a part of. I used to joke about being in the building every time the doors were open.
When I got into the youth group, they kept being involved. They helped plan and volunteer for various activities. They did more than encourage me to be involved. I loved being a part of my youth group growing up. But, you know why I was excited about youth group? It wasn’t because I had a great youth minister (which I did). It was because from birth it was instilled into me that church was a central part of our life My primary youth ministers were my parents.
Looking back on that now, I see how valuable they were in forming me into the man of God I am today. I cannot thank them enough for investing into God and His church so that I would one day follow in their footsteps.
Now, I’m a youth minister. My sister sings on the worship team for the church we grew up in, and my brother is actively involved in several outreach ministries. I’d say they were a success.
“How does that relate to me?” You may ask.
If you are a parent, you are the single largest influence in your child’s life. You have the power to inspire greatness or defeat into that young person. You have the power to mold and shape them into followers of God or selfish, entitled agnostics. You influence them. What you are involved in and excited about rubs off on them directly and effectively. What you are apathetic about also influences them.
You are the youth ministers. This is for parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles. This is for brothers and sisters and cousins. This is for kids. You have the power to influence your family around you.
If you are a part of a church that has a youth minister, you have a great resource there. But his job is only to supplement what you are doing at home. If the kids in churches are only getting Jesus on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, then they are anorexic Christians at best. The scriptures say “Train up a child in the way he should go…” The scriptures do not say “Let someone else train up your child…”
Youth ministers are a great tool, and they are useful to help facilitate and teach the youths of today. The trends of the churches to this point have been to create Youth Minister Centered Youth Ministries. It’s time to change the trend back to Family-Centered Youth Ministries.
May you be the Spiritual leaders in your home. May you lead your children by example. And may these children grow to be pillars of the Church for generations to come.
If there’s anything I can do for you or pray with you about, please feel free to contact me at my office at 245-1611 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you all as you regain your role as the real Youth Ministers.