I was on the phone with a parent awhile back and found myself making this statement as they were expressing a desire to do more for their kids in the realm of spiritual formation:
“I think you’re a better Youth Pastor than I am.”
I have this same feeling when I watch Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights (one of my favorite TV series of all time!), but that’s another post.
I’m constantly aware of how my time and influence are limited. Over the many years of doing youth ministry, I have often wished I had more time to spend with students or more time to put myself in places to meet and get to know even more students. In reality, I’m often limited to pouring into a handful of students and trying to raise up leaders to pour into the others. I imagine you feel this way as a parent at times. You know the desires you have for your kids, but between work, their activities, household stuff, and (hopefully) time for yourself or your spouse – you are left wishing you could do more.
During that phone conversation with the parent, I realized they were doing more youth ministry than I was. I absolutely believe it too. Between carpools, going to sporting events, plays, etc. They were getting to know more students and having more significant time with them than I’m able to do. This got me thinking:
- What if many parents are actually doing youth ministry and don’t even realize it? What would happen if they realized the amount of influence and opportunity they had?
- What if I could help them see a new way to view carpool or sitting in the stands at a sporting event?
- What if parents could do a few small, easy things in the craziness of life that had BIG implications for their kids? Implications that are much bigger than the time and “know how” required.
I’m not talking about starting a bible study in your carpool or trying to get everyone to sing along to 105.9 (or your favorite christian radio station). But, what if you made a conscious decision to pray for each kid in your carpool as you drove them to school and overheard their everyday life conversations? What if you simply took what you heard and what you desired for these few students to the Lord in prayer as you drove? I imagine God would surprise you with His goodness in ways you never expected.
Take it one step further and let your son or daughter know that this is your practice. Let them know that you care for their friends and pray for them as you drive. Since faith is often “caught more than it is taught”, I imagine they would catch your eyes in the rearview mirror knowing what you are up to. I can only imagine that this would make a huge impression on them knowing you care and you actively live out your faith, even in small ways.
Now, I know it’s summer, but summer is even more open to opportunities to be intentional in relationships and ministry to friends and family.
Here’s an article I came across after my conversation and added fuel to the fire…enjoy!
What is one way you can view your everyday life with family/friends as an opportunity for ministry?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this!