Revisiting a family approach in youth ministry

Cloete, Anita Louisa (2016-08)

CITATION: Cloete, A. 2016. Revisiting a family approach in youth ministry. In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi, 50(1):1-6, doi: 10.4102/ids.v50i1.2078.

The original publication is available at

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


The primary aim of this article is to reflect on the ‘family’ of a family approach in youth ministry. The overall aim of the article is to confirm the importance of family as social and, specifically, a religious institution. Therefore, a family approach in youth ministry is of utmost importance, but it is argued that it is more feasible if the responsibility is taken up to continuously reflect on being a family in contemporary society. That implies that reflection on family is as much a cultural task as a theological task. Therefore, an interdisciplinary reflection is valued as cultural, is multifaceted and an ever chancing phenomenon. One of the outstanding characteristic of families today is diversity. Diversity, with regards to family, is mostly related to the structure of family and attention has therefore been paid to it in a section of this article. It is argued that diversity should not be perceived as negative, because, despite of the diverse structure of family, constructive relationships is proposed as the binding and constitutive factor in being a family. The focus on relatedness moves beyond blood ties to relatedness and solidarity as fundamental for our humanness. Thatcher (2007:6) differentiates between a structural and relational approach to family. A relational approach is opted here with the emphasis on the quality of the dimension of the relationships. These relationships are also understood to be grounded in theological sources such as the Person of God and the church.

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