The Church Family as the Needed Authoritative Community

Originally published July 15, 2009.

The Commission on Children at Risk, a panel of 33 leading children's doctors, neuroscientists, research scholars and youth service professionals, drew upon a large body of recent research showing that children are biologically primed ("hardwired") for enduring connections to others and for moral and spiritual meaning. In this report the authors introduced a new public policy and social science term--authoritative communities--to describe the ten essential traits across social institutions that produce better outcomes for children.Of those defined authoritative communities, families are first.The second recognized authoritative communities are spiritual communities.Yes, our church families.(Learn more about this report at http://www.americanvalues.org/html/hardwired.html) 

The Extended Family's Role in Youth Ministry

Originally published December 15, 2009.

For the start of Advent, one of our 8th graders at my church, the one who has grown to be taller than his own father over the past year, showed up to church wearing a suit and a tie.I was wearing jeans that day (dress jeans for those who understand that fashion) and the practice for the rest of the staff is to rarely wear a tie.Randy’s appearance was a shock to us, many whom have known him his entire life.So the moment he entered into our worship center he was mobbed with comments.Comments he definitely expected to receive.Comments he definitely did receive.He came to church that morning knowing that he would receive the hubbub he did receive.This once shy, asperger’s-diagnosed boy came to church purposely to be the center of our attention that morning.

The Long Transition to Church Family-Based Youth Ministry

Originally published June 15, 2010.

Maybe by now you are becoming more and more convinced from the now many blog writers and resources (like from Wild Frontier!) encouraging you to include parents and your church family into your youth ministry in a greater measure.. Certainly you’ve been swayed by the great amount of statistical research that backs this up.We continue to compile these numbers at Support Statistics.

But you still may have questions as to how to incorporate this new practice of youth ministry into your local church situation.This may be true especially if you’ve been at your church for some time and the youth ministry is clicking along well.