Loved this post over on Tony Morgan’s blog from a father of 4 to the youth pastor. Here’s a clip, definitely worth the trip to get the rest:
1.Don’t have Bible studies on Sunday morning, but encourage my kids to serve. As a parent, I’m constantly battling everything in culture that’s telling my kids, “Life is all about YOU.” I don’t need my church to be compounding that challenge. Please help me parent my kids by encouraging them to serve other people. In the long run, learning to serve will ultimately keep them connected to the church after they graduate. Likely the additional Bible study will not.
2.Provide leadership opportunities for my kids. When we become Christ-followers, we receive spiritual gifts. God doesn’t hold on to those gifts until we become adults. In other words, students can also have the spiritual gift of leadership. If you don’t offer opportunities for my kids, they’ll check out of your student ministry and find another organization where they can use their gifts.
3.Don’t meet on Sunday night if at all possible. It’s true that there are no school activities on Sunday nights, but Sundays are a very busy evening for my kids. Every bit of homework and test preparation that needs to happen before Monday takes place on Sunday nights, because it certainly didn’t happen on Friday night or Saturday. At all three churches where I’ve served, the midweek student gatherings were always better attended than the Sunday evening gatherings. I know. There will be seasons when athletes may not be able to participate…though you can probably still accommodate them. I believe one of the key reasons midweek is stronger is because my kids can invite their friends at school that afternoon.