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The best way to get most youth more involved in and serious about their faith communities...

"The best way to get most youth more involved in and serious about their faith communities is to get their *parents* more involved in and serious about their faith communities.

"For decades in many religious traditions, the prevailing model of youth ministry has relied on pulling teens away from their parents. In some cases, youth ministers have come to see parents as adversaries.

"There is no doubt a time and place for unique teen settings and activities; still, our findings suggest that overall youth ministry would probably best be pursued in a larger context of family ministry, that parents should be viewed as indispensable partners in the religious formation of youth.

"More broadly, one of the most important things that adults who are concerned about how teenagers' religious and spiritual lives are going to turn out can do is to focus attention on strengthening their own and other adults', especially parents', religious and spiritual lives.

"For in the end, they most likely will get from teens what they as adults themselves are." (emphasis in original).

~Christian Smith, Soul Searching, 267.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).