Can youth ministry begin to connect with mom and dad and home? We think the answer is one huge YES. When you process connecting with parents you need to shift your thinking to the idea of partnering. When a teenager is living in a home you will find a parent who probably could use some support. Partnering with a parent means that your youth ministry will be ready to link arms and influence that teen together. Our job as a student ministry is to simply help create avenues where teens and parents can process faith together. We are working hard to find the best way to do this and the process will look different in every ministry context. Here is our strategy for partnering with parents…
- Connect parent and the small group leader >> this is the most important step for us because our small group leaders are spending relational time with teens. We ask our small group leaders to send an update email to parents every week just to keep an avenue of communication open between the home and the student ministry that is a relational connection. We even help our leaders summarize the talk so the message can be consistent then the leader has freedom to add and adjust! When parents talk to their teens about what we talked about in our environment forward motion takes place!
- We make our website a hub for info and the heart of ministry >> parents are really busy so we try to keep our website and facebook page ready to engage the parents when they are looking to connect. We do a parents update on our website and we also podcast our message each week. (this week our podcast jacked up…oops!)
- We encourage parents to connect with a community group >> every parents needs other parents around them moving in the same direction. We call that community! We work hard to push parents to join a community group and pursue Christ themselves. Teens need to see parents moving toward Christ if they are going to see that Jesus can make a difference in everyday life.
- We are available when we are needed >> when parents need direction and have questions our team of staff and volunteers always strive to be there to help. We are here to serve parents just like we hope to serve teens. We also let parents know they are always welcome to check out our environment so they understand what we do. We have an open door policy with our environment and when parents see it in action they get it!
That is where we are starting. What are some ways you are partnering with moms and dads in your ministry?