I sometimes feel like my life goes back and forth between two worlds. As a Family Ministry Pastor, I get to be around a lot of kids and students, and it’s a lot of fun. There is so much energy and excitement in and around these children, teens, and young adults. They are learning and growing and trying to figure out what God has for their future. They are open and honest about their life, their pain, their struggles, and they long for deep relationships where they can feel like they are loved, accepted and a part of a community. They are waiting for someone to lead them.
I also spend a fair amount of time in life around adults. My role at church obviously puts me in situations where I help and encourage parents in their journey of life, faith and raising their kids. I get to be a part of a team that leads adults who volunteer to spend time with children, teens, and young adults encouraging them to grow in their faith. My role as a dad puts me around a lot of people in the community as my kids make friends, play sports, and expand their circle.
As I look back at my 25 years of ministry, I have spent most of my adult life trying to do everything I can to equip and encourage these kids as they grow into young adults. There have been countless hours spent planning and leading meetings, events, trips, and special events all designed to push kids further along in their faith. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you see immediate results, and sometimes you just plant a seed that may (or may not) grow years in the future.
Over the last ten years or so, I have come to believe that the best way to really help these kids, teens, and young adults is to help those who have the greatest influence on them: their parents and leaders. Parents often feel as if they have lost hope and have no idea how to guide their kids. I often hear leaders say they feel ill-equipped to answer the tough questions that come their way, and they fear steering young people in the wrong direction. If the key adults in their lives feel confident and equipped to lead these kids, they will no doubt have a better chance to succeed. I feel like my job is to equip and encourage those who are equipping and encouraging these kids, teens, and young adults.
It matters because our kids matter, and they need help.
It matters because the world is changing fast, and we need to keep up.
It matters because we often get discouraged and don’t know what we are doing.
It matters because it’s what God has called us to do.
I hope the practical help we provide here will truly equip and encourage you as a parent and/or leader as you seek to point the next generation to a real relationship with God.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11