Original Research

Father absence and adolescents as a challenge to youth ministry

Hyunok Yi, Malan Nel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2503 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2503 | © 2020 Hyunok Yi, Malan Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 June 2019 | Published: 19 March 2020

About the author(s)

Hyunok Yi, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Malan Nel, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Youth ministry is to help youth – children, adolescents and young adults – to become what they were created and called to be. However, many local churches fail to notice that adolescents growing up without a father figure are an integral part of the faith community. They are inclined to neglect the father’s role relative to these adolescents in a local church. The responsibility of faith communities towards children and adolescents with absent or uninvolved fathers is unquestionable. This study has its focus on youth ministry and specifically the topic of absent or uninvolved fathers and adolescents without a father figure as challenges for youth ministry in an attempt to address the concern for an effective youth ministry towards those young people with an inclusive and congregational approach. The article focuses on an empirical research with two groups: adolescents growing up without a father figure and local pastors of these adolescents. Twenty-one adolescents without a father figure and 12 local pastors of these adolescents were approached to participate in qualitative interviewing. This article seeks to describe how the adolescents feel about the absence of their fathers and God as their Father. It also presented the situation of the local church with adolescents with absent fathers and indicates that there is a lack of interaction between them and pastors or congregations.

Keywords

youth ministry; father absence; adolescence; empirical study; extended family; an inclusive congregational approach.

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