With a family integrated youth ministry the fathers are in charge of the discipling of youth with their primary concern being the discipleship of their own youth. Youth can gather together but it would be with the supervision and leadership of the parents, primarily the fathers. Now, one argument regards what does one do with parents that do not disciple their own children? This issue is where church discipline and leadership comes in to help. Simply because parents do not do as they are called we should not assume it is our responsibility to jump in and take over. So there is an important aspect of discipleship of parents that also needs to take place to make this all work. So while there are difficulties in accomplishing the correct method of discipling youth this is true of any ministry that deals with fallible people.
As far as the argument of not evangelizing un-churched youth the family integrated youth ministry model can accomplish this as well. If the youth of the church are discipled as they should they will in turn be able to evangelize the youth they meet daily. Youth that do become believers from an unbelieving family can for the time being be ministered to by a family in the church. Should the family of that youth become believers they would then be discipled so they take over the discipleship of their children. The other aspect of this is that in our corporate model of church we have come to see the role of the church to evangelize as an organization but scripture seems to show the individuals of the church being the ones that evangelize. The church seems to have decided to take this over because of the failure of its individuals to do so but this only perpetuates a continual decline in personal evangelism and reliance on a more corporate model. So, youth leaders see the need to put on events to try and evangelize because their youth and the parents of the youth do not do as they should. As with anything there are issues that may arise but this is also true of the current model of youth ministry.
While I see this model of youth ministry as the best one I also realize that unless one starts a church with this model it will take much teaching and patience to accomplish this. We are a people of habit and changing a model of age segregated ministry that has developed and taken hold over the last 100 years or so does not change overnight. There are issues such as the role of youth ministers and how they function in the church. There is also the need to change parent’s views of seeing youth ministry as the ones in charge of discipling their children and helping them to see it as their responsibility. So how one gets to youth ministry being the job of parents and not a professional youth minister may be difficult but will be well worth it for the spiritual health of the youth and families.
More to come on family integrated ministry.