Sacrificing Too Much?
One of the greatest challenges student ministries face is the over scheduling of families. It seems that those to whom we minister are living lives of greater complexity. There was a time where families made church the priority. That time is behind us. Whether it is a desire for their students to gain social status or to gain the possibility of a scholarship for college, parents have chosen to place other things at the center of their students lives. I served in student ministry for 23 years and one of the most frequent frustrations voiced is that sports (and band in some areas) takes priority over church life. I have heard many a Youth Pastor bemoan having to build his yearly schedule around the sporting events of his students.
We are living in a world where student ministry is being declare a failing enterprise when you look at the retention rate for students in college. I have long said that this problem is much larger than the student ministry. I think that the overall atmosphere of the congregation plays a part but I know that the largest influence in a student's life is still his or her parents. The importance a parent puts on their relationship with Christ and the need to fellowship with other Christians plays a large part in this problem. When parents choose sports and other activities as the driving force of their family life, the church suffers and I believe so does the spiritual health of the student.
I found this article that I think presents some pretty good arguments to support the role of other activities in the downfall of students post high school. I hope you leave your comments to tell me what you think of these assertions.
Sacrificing for Sports