With the school year back in swing and youth group going full speed ahead, I trust you’re thinking about how to best connect with and equip parents as they fulfill their God-given role as those primarily responsible for the spiritual nurture of their children. Whether you know it or not, it was that commitment that birthed CPYU way back in 1989. A little history. . .
When I graduated from Gordon-Conwell seminary in 1985 to take a youth ministry position at Supplee Presbyterian Church in suburban Philly, a professor by the name of Dan Jessen asked me this question: “What are you going to do with parents?” My answer – as I remember it – was a little lame. Something like, “Well. . . I’ll connect with them at two or three parent meetings during the year and then I’ll minister to their kids.” Dan launched into a gracious challenge to do lots more than that. He challenged me to respect the God-given role of parents and to see myself as a secondary influencer of their kids. Over the course of the next few months, Dan hashed that out with me and I started doing what is now known as “family-based youth ministry.” One thing led to another and about five years later a group of parents came to me and asked me to help them understand youth culture. That led to CPYU.
Today, CPYU is all about helping to close that cultural-generational gap between parents and their students. Youth workers are bridge-builders who can hlep to make that happen. Just about every resource we provide here at CPYU is something that you can and should pass on to parents. . . especially the free resources. . . and we’ve got loads of them.
As you get started with another year of youth ministry, why not become intentional about helping parents understand teenagers and today’s youth culture? Here are 3 free-resources from CPYU that you can pass on to the parents in your ministry. . .
1. Our weekly Youth Culture E-Update. This is a no-brainer. Each week we send out an email that’s full of the latest news, stats, articles, etc. on today’s youth culture. Thousands of people already subscribe. If you don’t already subscribe, just click here to get signed up. Forward the email on to all your ministry parents. Or, better yet, encourage them to sign themselves up so that it is sent directly to their inbox. Here’s a link to last week’s e-update. . . check it out!
2. Youth Culture Today. This is CPYU’s best-kept secret. We’ve got a one-minute daily radio spot on today’s youth culture that currently runs on about 800 radio stations across North America. But you don’t have to listen to it on the radio. The spots are posted right our website. Check out the online home of Youth Culture Today to listen and to learn more.
3. Digital Kids Initiative. When the last bell of the day rings at every high school and middle school around the world today, the scene will be the same. Hundreds of kids will flood out of the front door only to engage with each other and the rest of the world through their handheld device. We live in a world saturated and driven by social media. Our kids are “digital natives” who know how to use it all. And what they use is shaping them! Those of us who are older “digital immigrants” are responsible for teaching our kids how to glorify and follow God in their use of digital media. Earlier this year, we launched a Digital Kids Initiative here at CPYU to help you do just that. Visit the Digital Kids Initiative Site to see what’s there. We’ve posted lots of free handouts that you can download and get in the hands of your parents. Here’s a link to just one of those handouts. . . our “Family Digital Covenant of Conduct.”
That’s just a sampling of what we’re putting together for you here at CPYU. Keep your ears open for an announcement about a resource makeover in the next couple of weeks.