Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Ministry Model

In the 15 years I've been doing youth ministry there has always been an unwritten, unofficial urge to find the perfect balance between having kids spend time with parents in a ministry setting and to have kids spend time away from parents in a ministry setting. This was especially true of kids whose parents were volunteer helpers in the youth department. But one thing I had never done before was a family event--until this weekend.

It took a while to sell the kids in my youth group on the idea of a family campout. Immediately everyone automatically assumed this youth trip would be a drag and would lack the luster of other events. However, once we got there, families started to be families. The awkwardness seemed to melt away in the smoke of the campfire like a flaming marshmallow.

I don't know why we didn't do this sooner, but I definitely know we'll be doing this again. The last verse of Malachi says that the prophet Elijah will come and turn the hearts of fathers toward their children. Jesus says this "Elijah" is John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11-15. Family unity is one of the numerous side effects of faith in Christ. So why do we youth workers strive so hard sometimes to get kids away from their families so we can do ministry? Hopefully, we are entering a new paradigm in the way we do things around the youth department. To learn more about the campout, read the article on our church website.

No comments: