What Do Parents Need from Their Youth Pastors? (Rooted 2017 Workshop Preview)

Becoming a parent, like becoming a pastor, is an act of profound hope. The parent and the minister seek to pour out God’s love and wisdom on those whom God has given them. Parents and pastors believe that God works mightily through willing vessels, and to answer either call is to say a hearty “Here am I! Send me!” (Isaiah 6: 8) to God’s sacred work.

Both will quickly find that neither job is easy.

By the time kids get to your youth group, the parents in your church have seen and heard and experienced plenty of the challenges of parenting. Many of them are afraid of what lies ahead in the teenage years. Some parents seek more control over their children, when what they actually need is more independence. Other parents throw up their hands and leave the kids to you, hoping to outsource their children’s spiritual development to the church. Both extremes are expressions of discouragement. Parents of teens need to be met anew with the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

As a youth pastor, you have the awesome burden and privilege of ministering to our kids, but you also have the potential to demonstrate gospel hope and encouragement to their parents.

In this workshop we will discuss ways you can partner effectively with parents for the benefit of all: teens, parents, pastor, and church. As parents of our own teens, we offer our perspective on and experience with the ministries that have served our children. Above all, we hope to encourage and strengthen you in your good work sharing the gospel with families and their youth.

Kristen Hatton holds a master’s in counseling and works primarily with teen girls, parents and families. She is the author of Parenting AheadThe Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for StudentsFace Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World, and Get Your Story Straight. Kristen and her pastor husband reside in Dallas, Texas and are the parents of three young adults and a son-in-law. Learn more by visiting her website at www.kristenhatton.com.

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