< An awesome article about family ministry>
Here are other steps to consider:
1. Change the goal of youth ministry. The goal can no longer be limited to making individual disciples of Jesus Christ. Biblical discipleship is far more than just “me and Jesus.” How about making the goal that by the time students graduate from high school, they’ll smoothly transition into adult-member roles in the local church?
2. Question “traditional” programs. Ask how your programs will affect the rest of the church. This includes events that affect parents (e.g., Can the parents pay for this camp after paying for the junior high retreat last month?) and decisions that affect other ministries (e.g., Does the choir need the van that weekend, too? Maybe we could help spruce up the preschoolers’ space instead of repainting ours?).
3. Leadership—lay and paid—should create a family atmosphere. We’re called to be people of God before we do the work of God (John 15). What’s a good barometer for this? When there’s conflict, competition or calendar coordination, is your staff and lay leadership more for the other church ministry than they are for their own ministry area (Phil. 2:1-4)?
4. Be willing to drop some programs…if they move the youth ministry farther from the rest of the church. Family minister Tim Smith says, “Sometimes your eraser is your best programming tool.”
5. Communicate the idea that youth ministry is everybody’s calling. For youth ministry to move toward a more family-friendly stance with the church, youth workers must let go of the idea that they’re the only ones called to care for students. A family-oriented youth ministry program at the very least recognizes that it’s a servant of—and partner with—parents in reaching kids. The church is ultimately responsible for seeing that youths—before they graduate from the group—are valued, esteemed and integrated into church life.