Safety is the top priority of youth groups for virtually all parents.

A prominent magazine printed a piece where the author argued that the tendency to be safe has taken independence, discovery, and risk-taking away from childhood. Ironically, this did not make childhood safe at all. The resulting discussion, which put forward a series of questions concerning the protective desire of parents and their wish to raise brave kids, extended into youth ministries as well.

Parents have their own collection of priorities on the issue of the youth ministry experience of their kids. The problem is a majority of parents have a tough time selecting a few priorities among many. Most parents whose teens attend youth groups regard every one of these features as “somewhat” or even “very important.” Almost all parents (about 96 percent in a mix of somewhat and very important) say that safety is the most important criterion of all. It must be mentioned many parents think of this safety not only in the physical form but mentally as well. In short, parents prefer a supportive community for kids. They want their kids to form positive friendships with their peers who also are exploring their faith.

sked to select the two aims of the youth ministry, went in for spiritual instruction and discipleship above all others. About 71 percent of the senior pastors and about 75 percent of the youth pastors hold the opinion that these are one of their primary goals and is one of the best priorities. The main aim of 48 percent of these youth pastors and 40 percent of five senior pastors is the building of relationships with students. About 29 percent of the senior pastors and 24 percent of youth pastors have selected outreach towards youth and evangelism. In contrast, evangelism directed towards parents of teens is apparently not that important. Only seven percent of the senior pastors and four percent among the youth pastors have selected the last option.

About 17 percent of senior pastors, compared to youth pastors (calculated to be 10 percent) puts emphasis on serving communities. However, when it comes to serving church bodies, not many of them are interested. These come to four percent of youth pastors and six percent of senior pastors. To put in a single sentence, both the youth pastors and the senior pastors are synchronized when it comes to stating the aims of the youth ministry.

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