November 4, 2010

Parenting Links

Filed under: parenting,Parents — Neil @ 7:14 pm

2 good articles on parenting that I posted to our Student Ministry’s Facebook & Twitter accounts earlier in the week:


October 21, 2010

Relationship Before Rules

Filed under: parenting,Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Last night we began a new series, TEN, on the Ten Commandments.  Last night’s key point was “Relationship Before Rules” as we introduced the series.  The commandments were established after the relationship had already been initiated.  The rules were the framework for the relationship.

Mike Brister, my boss & youth ministry veteran, frequently says (I give him credit since he can’t remember where he 1st heard it):

Rules Without Relationship ALWAYS = Rebellion

10 years of youth ministry has taught me that he’s exactly right.  Regardless of the situation if teens have a relationship w/ the adult they will respect the rules.  If not prepare for the worse.

Parents, for some great insight from Jim Burns on the importance of nurturing relationships w/ your kids even in the midst of discipline watch this video.

August 4, 2010

How Smart Are Your Parents?

Filed under: parenting,Parents — Neil @ 7:00 am

from This Is Indexed

November 25, 2009

Youth Culture

Filed under: Media,parenting,Parents,Videos,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 7:00 am

1 of the very best youth ministry resources for keeping up w/ the youth culture is the Center for Parent & Youth Understanding.  It’s weekly email newsletter is the best youth ministry newsletter that arrives in my inbox.

Here’s an interview w/ Walt Mueller, CPYU president & founder, on youth culture 101,” narcissism, and the Apostle Paul’s approach to culture in Acts 17:

November 24, 2009

Repost: Should I Force My Teenager To Go To Church

Filed under: Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 10:00 am

I posted this blog entry back on February 25, 2009 & it continues to get traffic day after day.  So, I’m reposting it (check out the original post to view the comments it generated.) Here’s the original post:

I’m faced w/ that question on a regular basis or something similar like “Is it ok to ground my teen from church?”.

D.C. Curry, youth pastor at Granger, answered the question on his pastor’s blog.  Here’s what he said:

My blunt answer is yes!

The Bible teaches us that one of the responsibilities of a parent is to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

One thing I love about this passage is that it projects that there is a way in which a child should go…because there is.  There are so many important things that parents will make their children do without even thinking about it like take baths, go to bed, brush their teeth, go to school, but when it comes to church they resort to the great debate.  “Should I or should I not?”

It seems to me that the same reason that governs why they have to brush their teeth, go to school, get some sleep, take baths, should be the same reason that governs why they should go to church, it’s important!  So we make/force our kids to do everything that we think is important so if we don’t make/force them to go to church does that mean we don’t think it’s important?

As a parent, it may not always be popular to make them go to church but it has eternal implications.  It’s not just about their attendance, it’s about their eternity.  We who are charged with the care of students (parents, youth pastors, teachers, godparents, etc.) must see to it that they find The Way and are trained to live in that Way.
Also know that training is not always easy, comfortable, or fun, and usually doesn’t come without a bit of pain.

A very respected parent recently told me, “I don’t care what they want to do, I (as the parent) am committed to getting my kids in environments where they can grow closer to Christ.”   He believes it’s important, so he follows that up with his actions.

Do you agree?

September 28, 2009

Lead Teams

Filed under: FBCJ,Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 9:38 pm

Lead TeamsLast night we kicked off our lead teams.  Teams made up of 10-12 parents & a couple of high school students.  Their agenda is to help guide our student ministry in our weekly events & big events like summer camp.

The teems meet on Sunday nights every other month.  It’s just 6 hours per year that each person is committing, but it’s worth so much to our ministry.

August 18, 2009

How Parents Can Impact the Church Drop Out

Filed under: parenting,Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

I highly suggest reading this article by Sam Rainer.  He gives some great practical advice for parents of teens.

July 8, 2009

Camp Letter to Parents

Filed under: Parents,Summer,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 7:00 am

Today, we are at summer camp.  We’re also mailing out a letter to let parents know how everything is going & gave parents a few suggestions for when their teen gets home.

The idea isn’t mine.  Josh blogged about it last year & Mark did earlier this summer.  In fact much of the language in our letter is very similar to theirs.

In the letter we thanked parents for trusting us w/ their teen, gave them a brief description of what’s been going on at camp, & asked them to pray for their teen, the worship leaders, their teen’s family group leader & the adult staying in their teen’s condo.

We then asked them to do the following when their teen gets home on Friday:

  • Let them sleep.  They didn’t sleep much @ camp, so their bodies are desperate for lots of sleep.
  • Ask lots of questions about camp & to really listen to what their teen says (we provided them w/ a list of questions as well to make it really easy on mom & dad)
  • Be an encourager.  We asked them to say “that’s great!” & “I’m proud of you!”  Teens typically return home from camp on a spiritual high & we really want our teens to know that their parents support their spiritual growth.  Nothing means more to a teen than the support of mom & dad.

What have you done to help parents connect w/ the experience their teens have had at camps/retreats/mission trips?

July 6, 2009

Importance of Parent’s Meetings

Filed under: Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Last Wednesday night we had our 1st parents meeting.  It concerned summer camp.  Why hold a parents meeting?  We’d already

  • closed registration for camp
  • mailed out a calendar, schedule, what to bring, etc

Plus, it’s a lot of work.

We held a parents meeting because ministry is about people.  Youth Ministry doesn’t happen (at least over a long period of time) unless parents have trust in the youth ministry staff.

Much work was put into it.  We began working on the agenda several weeks ago.  What do we need to cover? What do we want the mood of the meeting to be?  What’s the objective?

We made the agenda.  Added in some humor.  Recruited volunteers to serve at a registration table so parents could turn in $ & forms.  Had a notary public present to help out parents w/ the release form.  Covered everything & allowed for questions.  Didn’t make the meeting last any longer than it had to be.

Arrived early to meet parents.  Allowed about 30 minutes for parents to submit forms & $.  Then met for about 20 minutes.  Thanked parents for trusting our ministry w/ their teenager.  Hung out afterward to allow for more question.

Parent meetings are old school.  I’ve heard horror stories about them.  However, a purposed & well planned parents meeting is very valuable in gaining parent’s trust & support.

Do you hold parents meetings?  How often?  Just before big events?  Any horror or success stories to share?

July 4, 2009

Blog Slump?

Filed under: Parents,Parkway,Personal,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 5:55 pm

You’ve likely noticed that my blogging has been really slooooow lately.  Lots of reasons.  Job change.  Busyness of summer youth ministry.  Seems I’m twittering (follow me) stuff that I use to blog.

The main reason is that it feels like Neil’s Blog is changing.  I’ve had that feeling for months, but my job change back in April has been the biggest thing behind the change.

This place started primarily as a way to communicate w/ youth parents @ Parkway.  It worked & many of y’all are still here.  Although I’d like to stay in touch w/ y’all – I”m no longer communicating for that ministry.  The FBCJ student ministry communication is still very much in the works – right now we are using our facebook page to communicate w/ teens (& more & more parents) & old fashioned letters for parents.

I feel like the direction for this blog will be directed more & more to youth ministry issues.  I’ll still throw in the occasional story from the lives of Amanda, Roscoe (he’s sleeping if you are wondering), & myself.

I may even attempt to give this place a makeover.

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