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youth ministry, youth worker, unfair

Picking Sides

By Doug Franklin January 24, 2012

We all have a passion for students. We want them to grow in Christ and in community with each other. We are so committed to this we have given our lives so students can grow in faith. So how do we feel about their parents? You know, the ones God has called to be the primary faith influencer in their lives? How committed are we to serving them, do we have a passion for them? When I was a youth pastor I didn’t give them much thought. The only time I really gave them was when I needed them to pay for a costly event. So whose side was I on? Did I have my parents’ backs or did I just care about students? As youth workers we need to think this through, how committed are we to serving parents? Will serving parents really get us to our goals for seeing students living for Christ? What about parents who don’t care, aren’t they giving us permission to not care about them? I think many youth workers deal with this problem by staying in the middle or by keeping each group in the dark. For example, if I tell parents their concerns matter but I tell students we are going to push the limits. The parents think I am following them and students think I am an alternative to their parents. This is dangerous because you run the risk of losing the parents and lying to students. Pick the side of parents, form a partnership with them and speak a common language. When students hear you saying the exact things their parents are saying you will make a strong team. If you stay in the middle you will find yourself in trouble. By picking parents you are going with scripture and together with the parents you will see great things happen.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More