The Problem of Parents
By Mike Yaconelli
What's the biggest obstacle to effective youth ministry? Parents.Strange, isn't it? The people who most benefit from our ministry with theirchildren are often the ones who create the most grief for our ministry.Why are young people stressed out? Parents.Why are young people obsessed with education, good grades, SAT scores,scholarships, college, college prep, pre-SATs? Parents.Who encourages many of our youth group to miss church, Bible study, camp, or aservice project because of football camp, hockey practice, cheerleading clinics,gymnastic tournaments, dance class? Parents.Who supports our ministries until their child has a negative experience, or isdisciplined, or is injured, or doesn't like youth group, or the music, or theircounselor, or a new sponsor, or the way the youth group is being run? Parents.Who complains to the minister, the board, the session, the deacons, the elders,when something goes wrong (bus broke down, it rained and flooded out yourtents at a service project, someone was hurt), but never goes out of their way toaffirm or encourage when the ministry is going well? That would be parents.Who automatically takes their child's side on any issue their son or daughter isupset about? Parents.Who has taught their son or daughter that deadlines, rules and boundaries, andcovenants are to be kept
unless they aren't kept and then it's "not a big deal," or"too harsh," or "not clear," or "not fair," or "not understood," or "too strict," or"broken by everyone," or "should have been approved by the pastor?" Parents.
Mike Yaconelli, “The Problem of Parents,” Youth Specialties, posted October 3, 2009,
www.youthspecialties.com/articles/the-problem-of-parents (accessed June 25, 2012).