A Youth group is not only about your teenager. Youth ministry, done well, includes and impacts the entire family. Practical Wisdom for Parents is not a book about how to make your teens sit down and have a family devotional. Instead, this book will help you and your teen thrive and flourish during these important years.
David and Walter give numerous practical suggestions on how you can work alongside and support those leading your youth ministry, including a variety of ways you can support and be involved in your teen’s youth ministry experience. Many of their ideas are “behind the scenes” that don’t require you to teach a class or lead a devotional. However, your partnership role with your youth ministry leadership will be clearly articulated throughout.
Dr. David Fraze is the James A. Buddy Davidson Endowed Chair of Youth & Family Ministry at Lubbock Christian University. He has served over twenty years working with adolescents as full-time youth minister (Green Lawn Church of Christ, Lubbock, Texas, and The Hills Church, North Richland Hills, Texas) and eleven years working with adolescents in part-time church and para-church organizations. Fraze lives in Lubbock, Texas, with his wife and their son and daughter.
Dr. Walter Surdacki has served as Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Lipscomb University since 2008. Surdacki spent over sixteen years working with adolescents as a full-time youth minister in local churches in California (Torrance Church of Christ, Malibu Church of Christ, and Campbell Church of Christ). Walter lives in Franklin, TN with his wife, Amy. He has two adult daughters, Madeline and Abby.
“David and Walter have written the guide I want every parent to follow, and that I want every youth pastor to be able to give to parents. Teenagers are formed best when parents and youth leaders are partners, and this guide offers the practical roadmap churches need to make that possible.”
—Kara Powell, PhD, Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, Chief of Leadership Formation at Fuller Seminary, and co-author of 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager
“Dr. Walter Surdacki and Dr. David Fraze are absolute GIANTS in the world of youth ministry. There is no youth ministry tag-team more gifted, qualified, and prepared to educate and equip parents or youth ministers for the task of raising adolescents to a living faith in the living God.”
—David Rubio, youth minister imagineer, aspiring firebender, emotional decathlete, Otter Creek Church
“What does it mean to be a good parent? What does it mean to lead a good youth ministry? On their own these are important questions. But such questions shouldn’t be left on ‘their own.’ It just so happens that there is less and less of a link between these questions; they are more and more left to be answered without connection. What makes for a ‘good parent’ by our middle-class measures may have less to do with supporting and seeking support from a congregational youth ministry. However, to bring these questions back together, to place the hand of the parent back in the hand of youth pastor will take much more than creativity or charisma. It will necessitate wisdom. Wisdom—unlike creativity and charisma—is never self-created but comes only from placing yourself in conversation with others already down the road. This is just what Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents provides. It’s an invitation to walk with Walter and David, seeing and learning the ways of wisdom. It will be worth every minute.”
—Andrew Root, Professor of Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary; author of The End of Youth Ministry?
“Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents is a great follow up to Fraze’s Practical Wisdom for Youth Ministry. There was a time in YM when we took teens away from their parents, thinking we could spiritually form them better. As Surdacki points out, ‘What we did didn’t work.’ In teaching YM at Oklahoma Christian University, partnering with parents is core content in one of my foundational classes. This new book will be an excellent addition to that content for my students. The biblical emphasis in the book is dead on. The practical wisdom comes from years of experience. The conclusion and the forms in the back are also very practical and wise. Church leaders would be wise to check this out.”
—Dudley Chancey, PhD, Professor of Ministry; Director of the Intergenerational Faith Center, Oklahoma Christian University
“Parents are an invaluable resource to youth ministries in our churches. This truth is driven home in Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents. Fraze and Surdacki bring a wealth of experience to the subject as they give attainable, practical steps any parent can take to partner with their youth minister. My son recently began his career as a youth minister. I would love for the parents at his church to have this resource. It would be a first step to a great partnership where their teen’s faith would be strengthened.”
—Chris Hatchett, SLK Campus Minister
“For parents who want to support their church’s youth ministry but struggle with the ‘how,’ this book is a desperately needed resource. Drawing on their experience as youth ministers as well as parents of teens, David Fraze and Walter Surdacki offer a wealth of practical suggestions for partnering with your youth minister—from offering much-needed support and encouragement to handling conflict with integrity and compassion. I would love to see parents and youth leadership teams read this book together, letting it spark important conversations about the youth ministry and further ideas for partnership.”
—Lauren Calvin Cooke, PhD, Candidate in Religious Education, Emory University
“Some books are written for youth ministers. Some are written for parents of teens. Others are for teens. Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents is for all of them. This is one of the most helpful, practical, hopeful books you will find on healthy Student Ministry. Dr. Fraze and Dr. Surdacki combine years of wisdom, experience, success, and failure to provide a book that will strengthen youth ministers and youth ministries for years to come.”
—Josh Ross, Lead Minister, Sycamore View Church, Memphis; author of Re\entry
“Any wise and experienced youth worker knows that trying to do youth ministry without partnering with families is like trying to nurture flowers without regard for the soil from which they grow. What we have in this book is truly practical wisdom from two veteran youth workers, both widely recognized for their wisdom and experience! They’ve seen the benefits of what I call ‘trans-parent’ youth ministry, and they’ve managed in this book to give parents a readable guide for how to maximize and steward their teenager’s youth group experience. If I were a youth pastor, I would give this book to every parent of every student in my youth group. And if I were the parent of a teenager in a youth group, I’d be an eager reader! This is a book we’ve needed!”
—Dr. Duffy Robbins, Professor of Christian Ministry, Grove City College, Grove City, PA
“If parents will give this book a chance, you will understand the world of a youth minster. This helps parents understand that the church and the family are two divine designs of God that are truly powerful when they work together. This book is rich with theory, but also practical advice for youth ministers and parents. This book is a difference maker.”
—Robert Oglesby, Director, Center for Youth and Family Ministry; Instructor, Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry
Dimensions (inches) 5.25 x 8
Weight (pounds) .5