This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Jonathan Clubb, Northpoint’s Pastor of Discipleship, Students.
Why Parents Make the Best Youth Pastors
I love student ministry. God changed my life as a senior high student and I knew from the very beginning that there was no other area I wanted to minister in. I’m constantly searching for ways to make Northpoint’s Student Ministry more effective and some of the best places I turn to, outside of Scripture, are trustworthy blogs. A while ago I came across a quote that fits perfectly with the vision of our Student Ministry. Cameron Cole, a youth pastor in Alabama, said this, “Youth leaders must let parents know we’re partners with them in the spiritual formation of their children. Parents may not believe this, but the reality is their kids listen to them far more than they’re going to listen to us.” I agree wholeheartedly with every aspect of that statement.
I know that it seems like I have the upper hand in ministering to your student. I get to work with a group of incredible volunteers, organize small groups, plan fun events, go to fantastic camps (like the one senior high just returned from), and teach the Word weekly. But none of that compares to the influence you have on your child. Let me list some of the advantages you will have over any youth pastor:
- I get to be around your student about four hours if they come to everything. That’s about 2% of the week. The other 98% is spent around you.
- I get to lead your students for four years in senior high and maybe a couple years in college. You started leading your student from day one and will continue to lead them long after they’ve forgotten me.
- I can only know a student as well as they are willing to let me know them. You as a parent know everything there is to know. You can see through their words and smiles to know when they are hurting at a level I’ll never be able to.
- I rarely get to show students how I live as a Christian in my daily life. You have that opportunity every single moment. You can show them what it means to live a life of forgiveness, repentance, and love in every situation as you work through it.
- I get to preach the gospel to our students. You get to live the gospel with your children.
The list could literally go on and on, but the point is this: you have the ability to lead and disciple your student more than I ever will. A youth pastor is simply a resource for you in your role as the primary shepherd of your children. I’m here to work with you and to help you bring the gospel to each and every one of your kids in whatever way possible. But I will never be able to replace you.
As I said earlier, God saved me as a senior high student, and He did it by using my parents … the best youth pastors I ever had. It was because of their willingness to make decisions that honored God and to share the gospel with me at the dinner table that I became a believer. I want to encourage you to cherish that important role that God has given to you and remember that I’m always here to help.
Pastor Jon Clubb