It would be nice if every new parent, upon leaving the delivery room, were given an instruction manual on how to raise kids. But they don’t. It would be nicer still if the instruction manual had a consistency of advice from year to year, decade to decade. But that certainly has not been the case.
Many youth ministers are not yet parents. It takes awhile to be old enough to have teenagers. Since many people in youth ministry don’t start their ministry career in their early thirties, but much earlier, it precludes them from having their own teenage children. For them, especially, the mere mention of “parents” can give one a spirited sense of unease, if not more. Kids can certainly be a handful. You sort of expect them to be ungrateful, self-focused, demanding and sometimes unreasonable. But what do you do when that description fits even better when applied to their parents?
Some parents accuse youth ministers of not having “much of a clue” because they don’t have kids of their own. What these parents fail to realize is that youth ministers, in some respects, have more of a clue since they work with so many kids, ranging in age over the whole gamut of adolescence. You learn a few things of your own in such an intense learning environment. Do high school teachers need to be parenting their own high schoolers to understand their students? The accusation is so illogical it is silly. Or is it?
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