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.
This is a contribution of H.Y. toward a PhD in Practical Theology with the University of Pretoria, in the field of youth ministry. M.N. served as a supervisor. (http://hdl.handle.net/2263/71384)