What? Why? How? Now?
November 17, 2022
Walter Surdacki, professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Lipscomb, has co-authored Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents (2022). It is a quick start guide for adults in youth ministry structured around these four practical questions.
Its authors, David Fraze and Walter Surdacki, wrote Practical Wisdom to help readers “get ready for and then navigate those youth ministry years as a family. You heard that correctly, as a family.”
“There’s a mindset,” says Surdacki, “that once my kid gets into the youth group, they don’t need me or want me to be around anymore. That is not the case.”
Youth ministry does not happen in isolation. “Research shows that the first influence of a
student’s spiritual life is their parents and a close second is the rest of the adult community
surrounding the student.” Youth ministry, then, is not the sole responsibility of the youth group
leader. It is “a ministry of the church. It is ours,” say Fraze and Surdacki.
Of course, that does not mean that every parent and adult in the church should teach a high school class or host a game night, says Surdacki. “Our hope with this book is to put a resource in the hands of parents who have gifts they may not recognize that have tremendous value in youth ministries.”
Utilizing gifts like budgeting, encouragement, making spreadsheets, baking and even knowing
when to take out the trash at an event can influence kids and show them that “my parents have
skin in this, too.”
Within each chapter of Practical Wisdom, Faze and Surdacki pull from their own combined 70 years of youth ministry experience (as well as the experiences of former students and current youth ministers) to show parents what really matters in youth ministry, why it matters, how to practically apply what matters, and how to take a first step toward what youth ministry is ultimately all about: “a harmonious partnership that will support your teenager’s faith journey.”
You can order your copy of Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents here.
Walter Surdacki is professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Lipscomb University.
David Fraze is the chair of Youth and Family Ministry at Lubbock Christian University.
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