Parents are gifted with the role of primary instructor and example for their children in the Christian faith. In Senior High, young people have increasing freedom and are preparing for a major transition in life. This opportunity allows parents to support and help young people understand the importance of the Christian faith in the face of new independence. 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 by encouraging worship, prayer, and Bible study, and discussing the importance of it following the major life transitions ahead.
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 as they consider college, career, and family. 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 Altar
- Highly Engaged Parents (Pre-Teens/Jr. High)
- Supportive Adults (Teens/High School)
- Youth Ministry