Who bears the primary responsibility for the faith development of children? In other words, whose responsibility is it to teach piano? Who is the piano teacher?
Get this answer wrong and you'll always come up short of God's design for youth ministry!
About a year ago our youth ministry was trying to plug teens into various ministries throughout the church (something I'm sure will be the subject of a future post). One church teen from a good church family was having a hard time with buy in. This teen served...begrudgingly.
Several weeks later I found myself in conversation with one of this teen's parents who brought up the subject. "I told (my teen), 'hey, it's not my job to teach you how to serve others. It's Tracy's.'"
Parents. Parents are God's primary design for faith transfer to the next generation.
But most parents don't take on that role. In our youth ministry less than 10% of churchgoing parents of teens did. They drop their kids off to the spiritual piano teacher once or twice per week, thinking they're doing their job. Yet nearly every one of them admit that they couldn't carry on a spiritual conversation with their teen if they were forced to. That's a problem.
It would be easy to point the finger at parents, but let's take a look at youth ministry for a minute. One simple question will suffice:
When does youth ministry ever give parents the idea that they're the most important part of their own kid's spiritual formation?
For every answer we come up with, I'm guessing we could come up with 5 times more that communicate "Hey, youth ministry is the piano teacher."
That's a problem too.