A fellow Student Pastor often says, "No one can love a kid in your youth group better than their parent."
Theoretically, I absolutely agree - without any hesitation! The parent is the key influencer in the life of her or his child through adulthood. This core principle is the bedrock of my personal philosophy of ministry, and one in which I have continued to harp to my parents, staff, and volunteer leaders (along with anyone else who would listen).
As much as I believe in this, however, I must confess that I did not fully understood the ramifications of it personally until I witnessed the birth of my first child, Hannah Grace, on January 27, 2014.