Change Your Perception of Parents.
Ok, let me talk about the elephant in the room. Kids and student ministry leaders just wished parents would care about the spiritual development of their children a little more.
Not to pick on student pastors (I am one), but Barna’s research shows that:
Sixty-eight percent of youth pastors say their biggest struggle is parents who don’t prioritize their teen’s spiritual growth.
Maybe you feel this deeply. Well, you’re not alone. However, if you stop here you may also be missing one of the greatest opportunities for building a next-gen strategy that reaches Gen Z.
Here is another fascinating insight from Barna’s research:
Four out of 5 Christian teens say they can “share honest questions, struggles and doubts with their parents.” (79%)
This is a really big deal. Christian teenagers feel incredibly safe sharing some of their most personal and pivotal perspectives with their parents. This means that it would be foolish for us to discount the influence of a parent in the spiritual formation of a child or teenager. So, if we want to be strategic about reaching Gen Z, we have to be strategic about including their parents on the journey.
If we are going to strategically prioritize parents we have to genuinely change our perceptions.
We must choose to believe that parents care about the faith of their kids.
If we make this assumption, it means we will also take the time to build a strategy for resourcing, supporting, and encouraging parents of kids and teenagers. There are so many ways we can act out the assumption that parents care about their kid’s faith. From resources that help them navigate social media with their children, to gift cards for a hot coffee on a weary day of parenting. We can do this if we prioritize this.
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