Want to move in an ORANGE direction…become a conversation starter. When it comes to thinking orange in youth ministry I find that the most difficult aspect for youth pastors and volunteers is the RED (the home) side of the strategy. When it comes to teenagers we know what “to do.” With parents we have no idea where to even start. If you are out there and you want to start the process of moving your student ministry in an ORANGE direction then let me give you a starting point when it comes to connecting with what happens at home. Partnering with parents through your youth ministry means you help mom and dad begin move toward their teenagers rather than away from them. Teenagers need and are struggling for independence, freedom, and personal identity. Most of the time parents see this shift toward independence in the life of their teenager and because it is so painful and scary to watch they move away from their kids. I promise that the parents of teens that I know want to influence their son or daughter, but many of them don’t know where to start. They don’t see the door that they can open to have access to the heart of their teen. What if we could help open a door for parents to have significant conversations with their teens? Your student ministry is needed…teens need the mentors your small group leaders can become…you don’t need to invite parents to join you on your fall retreat. What you do need to do is to invite parents into the process and keep them in the loop so they can have significant conversations with their teen about the same things you are saying in your youth ministry. Here are some ways we are trying to help spur spiritual conversation at home with parents and teens…
- Small Group Updates // each week our small group leaders email a recap of what went down in our mid-week environment with some questions they can ask their teen beyond DID YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME! We also put this info on our website in case parents are new.
- Bring the RETREAT home through daily updates // we try to keep parents up to date with what God is doing each day when we do retreats, mission trips, or camp. We let parents see what is going on at camp/retreat through video…IT SPURS CONVERSATION.
- Serving // through the year we offer opportunities for teens and parents to serve together at church and through mission work. Check out Operation Serve to see an example.
- Church // seriously, we encourage teens and parents to worship together on Sunday. It’s amazing what God can do when parents worship with their teens.
Want to move in an ORANGE direction…become a conversation starter!