In this second part of my post about the importance of Christians being part of a faith community, I’d like to share my thoughts with both parents and church leaders. (Read the first part here.)
To My Parent Friends
As we prepare to launch our sons and daughters into independence, we pray for their health, well being, and future. We also pray like crazy that they’ll grow in their faith and that their spiritual life will remain a priority. The statistics in this regard can be discouraging, but by encouraging their participation in a faith community and allowing them the freedom to make their faith their own, it will make a difference. This can and should be done well before they leave home.
We wrote a special article for Christian parents to help you build an enduring faith in your children. You can find it here. I hope it’s a blessing to you and that you’ll share it with your friends.
To My Church Leader Friends
Given the importance of building community, I have a few thoughts to share from some who are feeling underserved: young adults and parents of teens.
Our young adult population (18-25) is among the most highly relational communities, yet among the most neglected due to their small numbers at many churches. This offers tremendous opportunities for churches to band together and offer this age group a true community. A friend of mine runs just such a multi-church program in Gig Harbor, Washington, and it has been truly transformational. Might there be a similar opportunity in your area?
Parents of teens feel similarly overlooked, yet would benefit greatly from more community opportunities. Parent groups for “parents of littles” are commonplace, but fewer programs exist for parents of teens who often face major challenges. High school ministries tend to focus on the students, without parallel offerings for their parents. How is your church doing in this regard?
Whether you’re a teen/young adult, parent, or church leader, we all are blessed by participating in a thriving faith community. By working together, we can build stronger, enduring relationships with God and each other.
Dennis J. Trittin is the President and CEO of LifeSmart Publishing, LLC and the author of What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead; and Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. Learn more at http://www.dennistrittin.co