Parents are gifted with the role of primary instructor and example for their children in the Christian faith. In Junior High, most young people are entering into a new level of Christian education in preparing for Confirmation, and this opportunity allows parents to show support and engage in the teaching process. Congregations can come beside these key people with encouragement and support. LCMS Youth Ministry’s research found today’s active LCMS young adults likely saw a high level of faith practiced by their parents. Whether parent, guardian, grandparent or other family structure, youth will tend to emulate worship and congregational involvement of adults in their lives. As good examples, parents/guardians help teens prioritize faith development during Junior High years and the Confirmation process by encouraging worship, prayer, and Bible study.
Engaged parents do not need to be cultural experts, but they should understand the influences on their child’s life. They should be active listeners and learners around their child’s interests and gifts. Engaged parents understand their child’s vocation at this stage of life and point toward future vocations. In all of this, congregations can provide training, older mentors and peer support for parents as they seek to raise faithful youth.
Resources for Highly Engaged Parents
Resources encourage congregations, church workers, and parents to prioritize:
- faith development by encouraging daily faith practices especially during times of transition.
- investment in the lives of their children by understanding their child’s vocation and the culture around them.
- participation in worship, personal spiritual practices, and service.
- providing parents encouragement and support from other Christian adults.
- Family Alter
- Highly Engaged Parents (Teens/High School)
- Supportive Adults (Pre-Teens/Jr. High)
- Youth Ministry