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Here is a recognized youth ministry leader who is asking us for some help. Let’s pool our ideas and see what we can say…

Since I began posting here several months ago I have received a dozen
or so requests for me to post on “family-based youth ministry.”   For
those of you who have been requesting this, I think you might be
disappointed with this post.  Honestly, I have no idea what to say
about family based youth ministry.  I mean, I know how some are
defining it and I think I like the idea of it, generally speaking, but
I have no idea what it means to be a family-based youth ministry. 

Can
somebody help me out with this?

I’ve read some portions of books and articles, sat in some seminars
here and there and I’ve been in a ton of conversations about the
importance of family-based youth ministry.  However, I still haven’t
really witnessed a youth ministry who is truly shaping a family-based
youth ministry where the “God-designed structures of the nuclear family
and the extended family of the church are helping young people grow
toward mature Christian adulthood.”   I’m not sure I could even begin
to explain it in a coherent way


 
Do I think the family has a role in the spiritual formation of their children?  Of course I do.  Do I think that the local faith community has a responsibility to create environments for the spiritual formation of others children?  Of course I do.  Do I think that youth ministries and families need to be in harmony and working together to support one another in our roles and responsibilities?  Of course I do.  Do I know how to structure a youth ministry in such a way that does this effectively?  Of course I don’t.  Does anybody? 

Can someone help me better understand what it looks like for a youth ministry to be family-based?  For those of you who are in the process of shaping family-based youth ministries, what does it look like?  I mean, what kinds of things are you doing that are different than the “conventional” youth ministry models?
 
So, I thought that rather than trying to reveal my ignorance on the issue, I’d rather sit back and learn from those of you who are doing it.  Here are some questions that I would love some thoughts on (and so would the group of people who’ve requested this theme).
?    Is there a need for a youth pastor/worker in a family-based model?
?    What does discipleship/formation look like in a family-based model?
?    How do you go about this in cooperation with the other staff or workers in your church (for example, the children’s ministry)
?    How does the ‘youngish’ in age youth pastor/worker even lead parents of teenagers toward such a model? (Of course, I am assuming that there is a need for a youth pastor/worker in such a model.)
?    Does it work?  Do you have any ‘success’ stories to share?  What defines success?
?    Where might I go to get some really good help on better understanding what family-based youth ministry is?
?    How do the youth in your faith community feel about family-based youth ministry?

Again, I’d really love to be informed on this topic.  I long for youth ministries to be more proactive in working with the family in process of spiritual formation of youth for the mission of God and I think there are many others like me out there.  Help!  Where do we go with this?

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