Youth Pastors Aren’t Replacement Parents

youth pastors cannot replace parents

Why are youth pastors blamed for every bad thing any young person ever does in church?

And why do some parents put so much pressure on youth pastors to disciple their students, while taking little responsibility for their own kids’ spiritual lives?

These questions will probably continue to haunt us for a while, but it’s interesting to see study after study demonstrate just how influential parents can be (like this one, and this one).

Here’s the kicker. In spite of the incredible influence parents have on teens, they don’t use it. “The majority of children in America have less than 10 minutes of significant and meaningful conversation with their parents each week. If you remove the mother, you can measure this statistic in seconds.“ (It came from this article, although they did not mention a source.)

Youth pastors are not and cannot be replacement parents. In fact, instead of traditional “youth ministry stuff,” we might find that some of our time is best spent helping parents be better spiritual leaders in their own homes. What do you think?

Nate Dame

Three years ago, Nate started Called to Youth Ministry with a desire to equip and support youth pastors. It started after he noticed a trend of people with a passion for students "go it alone" for too long and otherwise burn out, without a friend or mentor to stand by them. Now the ministry hosts online training and networking groups that leaders can join from anywhere in the world. Youth ministers from California to Florida to the UK have already benefited from the coaching, community and prayer support these groups provide.

Two year ago, Nate also started an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company with a desire to feed his family. Now he enjoys balancing the two and being able to use the business to support his ministry habit.

Nate lives with his beautiful wife, Christa, and rambunctious two-year-old son, Josiah, in Lake Geneva, WI.

You can rollow him @NateDame, on Facebook or on Google.


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