Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Last Saturday we hosted a training day for parents at JCC.  It was the best one we’ve done yet by pretty much all accounts.  In case you missed it (or showed up at like 10am) or maybe you’d like to do one in your own church, here’s the grand summary of it all in one post.

8:30 to 12:30 on a Saturday morning. 
It was free. Free training, booklet, childcare, light refreshments and coffee for adults, and a pizza lunch for the kids. 
Communicate, cast vision, and gain ownership on 3 core values:
  1. Parenting is Communal.   We can’t do this alone at the church or at home. We need one another and we need to mutually own a vision.  Specifically that we are Inviting a Generation to Understand, Own, and Live out a life changing faith in Jesus.”
  2. As a parent, I am my kids biggest influence.  So leverage it by meeting one on one with your child regularly and face to face.  Read more about this here. 
  3. We are raising a generation of autonomous, Jesus-following adults.  So we’re trying to work ourselves out of a job.  To this end we split up the groups into parents of infant through 4th grade and a second group of 5th-12th grade and talked specifically and practically about how we do that both at home and at church. 
We really really can’t do this alone.  We need God’s help, a parent’s help, and ultimately we need the child or young adult’s help.  
We tried to help parents understand the impact we can have on their child as a church in terms of time.   We asked them imagine if we get them an hour on Sunday for 9 months out of the year, for 29 years.  We broke this down into tons of different illustrations.  The most powerful of which was a rope.  If you take the statistics on this slide and break it down into a rope representing time.  The rope of their life you bring on stage will be 60 feet long and the amount of time you can color in to represent time spent in our church building will be 5.5 inches long!!!  
As a youth pastor, my image of doing ministry is a little more crass.  I often feel like the hour on Sunday is spent dumping spiritual chlorine in a pool at nascar pit crew fuel speeds. The problem is, the pool of a student’s life is lined with relationships and a culture that are peeing in it, and until the student starts kicking some pissers off the side of the pool, this is a largely pointless endeavor.  An hour on Sunday is only as powerful as it is impacting the massively larger quantity of hours that are spent outside this space.   
If you missed the seminar day and would like to take the time to listen to each of the sessions and the final age specific breakouts, you can find them all on this website here for free. If you’d like to use he handout that we gave to follow along or read up about how to contact us or how you might serve in our Generation’s Ministry, you can download that pdf document here. 


  1. Brian, thanks so much for all this! It’s been incredibly beneficial to read what you’ve been doing, and I plan on stealing quite a bit for our next parent gathering in the fall. You the man.

  2. sweet Joel. Glad I could help…. even just a little. Steal away.

  3. Hi Brian, thanks for posting this. It’s got me thinking about how we begin to engage parents in the varied youth work we do here in the UK.

    We recently held our first “Parents Evening” and we plan to build on it. I like some of your ideas here, so thanks again for giving me something tangible to work on! 🙂

  4. wow jon. the UK huh? guess this really is the world wide web 🙂 thanks for the comment. So glad you were encouraged.

  5. Thanks Brian, I just linked to your post from my blog so maybe you’ll get some more visitors from the UK! 🙂

Leave a Reply