You see the parent or caregiver of a teen plays an important role in their life. Their influence, good or bad, will affect the path that a student goes down regardless of how much we pour into their lives as leaders and student pastors. Therefore we must work tirelessly to ensure that we are equipping students and their families, however they are constructed, so that a student can grow in their spiritual walk in their homes. There are two parts to this.
First, you need to equip parents with resources and training so they can disciple their child. Even if they are not the most spiritually mature person themselves they need to know what role they should be playing in the life of their teen. And often the right resources and the right information are just what is needed to make them take that next step as the spiritual leader(s) of their family. Because many parents and caregivers know that the spiritual life of their child is important and they want to help them grow, but they often just do not know how. There are some adults though who do not care about the fact that their teen is trying to follow Christ nor do they understand how important that it. And when this is the case it is more important than ever that we encourage them to step up and take this role on.
The second part of this is that many students have parents and caregivers who do not know Christ at all and want nothing to do with the church. In these cases it is important that we not only take that role in a student's life. We also need to encourage them because they will not always be with us and will face a tough road ahead. But most importantly we need to equip these students to be a light for Christ in their home. We need to cast the vision for them that they could be the ones to reach the adults in their life for Christ and change the course of their family for generations to come.
I hope it has been clear that I am one of those people that believes that youth ministry is not Biblical and all discipleship should take place in the home. This might be ideal but we do not live in an ideal world. As we have seen, many students come from messy situations and we therefore have a very important role to play. But I do believe it is arrogant and ignorant of us to think that we can or should be the only ones ministering to teens. We must work as a team with the other adults in a teen's life to make sure that they are being trained, loved, and supported from all sides as they walk the narrow and often difficult road of being a disciple.