How do you feel about youth group?

This post by Sarah Mae {and the ensuing discussion in the comments} really got me thinking {as most of her posts do} about something that had already been on my mind.  A few weeks ago, during Teen/Tween Thursday I wrote about parental responsibility in our children’s spiritual development. 

Our role as parents in our children’s spiritual and character development has been heavy on my heart for several months.  Recognizing the sense of entitlement that this generation feels scares me.  Reading books like Radical has exposed the yucky truth to me that I have contributed to that sense of entitlement in my own household.  My husband and I have been in prayer about ways to combat this in our home and in our family life.  We have come up with some life changing decisions:

  • One way is that we will be homeschooling our kids this year.  {you have NO idea what a huge thing that is for me to do!  It is God and God alone- for sure!}  I am in no way condemning those that choose other educational options- we prayerfully chose public school for many years.
  • Also, we want our kids to attend church services with us {they will still go to their youth group.  We are fortunate to have three services to choose from on Sunday mornings}.  They are old enough chronologically and spiritually to learn from our Pastor’s wisdom and dig deeper into God’s word.
  • We are actively seeking more mission opportunities for our children and our family, and not just in our local area.  Isaiah 58 is my life chapter and my heart’s desire is that my children will hunger to spend themselves for God.

All that being said, I love the youth group at our church and work side by side with them on many projects.  My kids will continue to attend.  I think it is also vital to have youth ministries to reach unsaved young people.  My boys invite their friends to youth group and I want them to continue to do so!  I work with pregnant and parenting teen girls and invite them to many of our youth group functions.  I think the youth ministry serves an important purpose but do agree that it should never be the substitute for the active parental involvement of Christian parents.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue and encourage you to watch the Segregation video and read through the comments on the post I referred to.

And, as always, please link up any post related to parenting teens/tweens below!

Comments

  1. Melissa, I too saw the video and read the comments and it's something that I've been thinking about for a while. Our kids are not yet in the youth group at our church…we start that next year and are looking forward to it. I was a public school kid who invited kids to youth group and saw the Lord bring 2 of my closest friends to salvation. I also see the problems, but I believe, as with anything in parenting the buck stops with me and my husband. And while our kids do attend Sunday School classes for their grade, they also worship corporately with us, or as they call it, “go to big church”. We feel strongly about not only having them in there listening and learning how to worship in a corporate setting, but also that we do it as a family. It's definitely an interesting topic and one to consider as our children grow. Have a great weekend.

  2. Danielle says:

    Though our girls are 4 and 5 right now, the youth group of the church we choose is always on my mind. I completely believe that without my involvement in youth group I would have taken a different path. I think we need to surround them with peers of the same faith and with adult support that we can trust that comes from outside the family. The friends I made in church, are still my best friends today. We were each others support. When the rest of the school said “Do it” I knew that I had at least 3 other girls (not in the same school) that were behind me saying “Don't”.
    Who we let occupy our kids time and what they do with it is INCREDIBLY important.
    I was so busy having fun with all of those people, I did not need what the other kids were doing.
    The other decision that made it easy, my Mom and Dad did not allow me to hang out with those kids. They did make every effort to get me to my church friends and functions.
    I still find one of the youth leaders from my past to be a great support. I think being a youth leader can be a thankless job. There are not a lot of immediate tangible results from that work. But when you do see them, or hear a thank you, you thank God that he allowed you to work for Him.
    Side note – I think some regular church services would not work for youth BUT (and I am biased) oh man do you have the perfect Pastor for your plan!

    • I agree Danielle- we are blessed with the pastor we have! Thanks for your
      input, especially about who your parents let you hang out with. That is
      increasingly on my mind and one of the reasons my boys will be homeschooled
      thru high school.

  3. I loved reading your post. My sons are 33 and 37 now and things were really different when they were in school. They went to public school and I was a teacher there…so it helped some. I think, today, the approach you are taking is so wise. With your husband on board AND having a plan you are presenting a powerful example and support system. I don't know how old your children are but they may be able to use a resource I just made available FREE online. Check out http://www.mindbites.com/person/22063-swilkes3 and you will find FREE videos for easy Algebra I. I wan't planning to promote here but when you mentioned home schooling, it just came up. Feel free to save and share with your friends. They'll be free for awhile into the school year. All the best! Sandra

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