Often parents fail to properly disciple their kids and teenagers, but it’s often not from a lack of wanting to. They just may not know how. In this video, Ben Trueblood talks about how many parents are intimidated by the task of discipling their kids because they’ve never been discipled themselves.
Ben Trueblood serves as the Director of Student Ministry for LifeWay Christian Resources and has seventeen years of student ministry experience, fourteen of which were spent in the local church as a student pastor. In his book Student Ministry That Matters Ben shares what it takes to build and lead a truly healthy student ministry. And check out Ben’s newest book Within Reach about keeping students connected so they’re more likely to stay involved in church after they graduate.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
One of the biggest topics in student ministry always has to deal with ministry to the parents and equipping parents to disciple their kids in their homes. Now this can be a really tricky one, because, honestly, this is something that parents don’t do to a large degree. And I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to.
One of the things that I talk about with student pastors frequently is their role in being a discipler of parents is really so that they learn how to disciple someone else.
See, I think the issue, the breakdown, the gap that exists between parents discipling their kids and embracing the role as primary discipler, I think the gap there is, not because they don’t want to, but it’s because they don’t know how.
I think we have a lot of parents who have never been discipled themselves. Like somebody has never walked along with them in a really small, tight-knit community and shown them how to be discipled. They may have gone to a lot of church and they may have been a part of a lot of classes, but they’ve never been discipled personally. And so, when we say in the church things like, “You are the primary discipler of your kids,” it’s really intimidating because they don’t have true handholds of what that looks like.
So I think one of the ways that parents can be better disciplers or even begin to engage in discipling their kids is to seek out being a part of discipleship themselves. And a way that the church can equip that is to facilitate those things and those environments where that can happen.
The other intimidating piece that parents experience– And I know this. I have four kids and one of them is a seventh grader currently, at the time of this recording. And I know this to be true: it is intimidating for a parent to think about discipling their child because their child sees them at their worst. Their child sees them lose their temper. Their child sees them have an argument. They see all of it, because they live in the home. And there’s not this mask of perfection.
One thing that parents need to realize in discipling their kids is to embrace the grace that you’ve been given as a believer and follower of Jesus. And as a parent, you don’t have to be perfect in order to disciple your kids, because Jesus was perfect for you already.
The reality is that some of the best discipleship moments that you will have as a parent is when you’ve messed up and your child sees you walk through that and seeking forgiveness and walking through it and following Jesus and how to stand back up when you’ve fallen in something and how you rely on your identity in Christ to get through that moment.
Your kids don’t need to see you be perfect; they need to see you live life along with Jesus and they will watch you every step of the way.
Like what you hear? Read more from Ben in his other LifeWay Voices posts: