Outsourcing, Part 3

The catalyst for Part 1.

Part 2 was yesterday.

As I’ve reflected on the question, “Why Parents Outsource Their Teen’s Spiritual Formation” over the past few days, I believe that the answer is ultimately about a lack of partnership between parents and the church (or youth ministry/youth minister).  I believe that BOTH side have forgotten their roles in this partnership.  The definition of “partner” looks like this:

partner |ˈpärtnər|
noun
1 a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, esp. in a business or company with shared risks and profits.

This is all about relationship, community and the “a” word…accountability.

Let’s talk about parents (and remember that I am one, so this list is about me).

  • Parents fail in this partnership when they simply drop their kids off for the night.
  • Parents fail in this partnership when they don’t respond to emails asking for feedback.
  • Parents fail in this partnership when they invest nothing in the ministry, when they simply consume.
  • Parents fail in this partnership when they don’t take advantage of opportunities to talk about faith at home.

Now, let’s talk about youth ministers (remember, I am one, so this list is about me), churches and youth ministry.

  • Youth ministers fail in this partnership when we don’t take the time to say “hello” to the parents.
  • Youth ministers fail in this partnership when we do not deliver information (trip details, etc) as promised or in a timely manner.
  • Youth ministers fail in this partnership when we do not take into account family schedules, work schedules, etc.
  • Youth ministers fail in this partnership when we think that we care about kids more than their parents do.
  • Youth ministries fail in this partnership when we think that we can replace the parent.
  • Churches fail in this partnership when we do not communicate that the number one role of a parent is that of passing on the faith to their children.
  • Churches fail in this partnership when we do not equip or support families in this effort.  We can (and do) point the finger at parents and families all that we want, but if we are not equipping them for this effort, they cannot.

Partnership comes when we realize that we are all in this together.  Partnership happens when we come along side one another, not in judgment, or competition, but in a relationship that is encouraging and honest in what we need from the other partner.  Partnership comes when we have an expectancy of one another that we are seeking the same goal.

For those of you that partner with parents, what does that look like?

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One response to “Outsourcing, Part 3

  1. It looks like relationship for parents’ sakes, not just students’ sakes. Stellar series, John!

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