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Today I get to lead a breakout at the Orange Conference aimed at helping student pastors navigate the puzzle of partnering with modern parents. Family today looks different from family just a few years ago. Partnering with families can be a challenge for any student ministry but it’s a calling we can’t ignore. Parents are looking for help and we have a huge opportunity to link arms. Here are my notes from the session today. Hope they help as you evaluate some steps we can all take to partner with the modern family…

How do you begin parenting with parents? JUST START!  / most student pastors don’t have a plan on how they are going to partner with parents so don’t wait for a model, just begin

Partnering with Parents in Student Ministry begins with building relationships of trust. (all parents not just Christian parents)

Embrace the New Normal
It’s ok that family looks different today. You can’t design your parent strategy for the perfect family because that family does not exist. Build your strategy around the new normal and strive for excellence.

Communicate Consistently
Communication is the starting point for building a relationship with mom and dad.
(website, social media, parent update emails, updated info, return emails and calls)

Do Your Job WELL
Create an environment that teens love to attend and are growing spiritually. When teens tell parents they love your youth ministry parents will trust your ministry. Parents trust consistent leadership. Trust is earned.

Connect Small Group Leaders to Parents
Parents need to know the primary influence in their teen’s life and we are asking you to process elevating the role of the small group leader for your parents.
# Updates come from Small group leaders
# Open House to connect parents and small group leaders

Help Teens Process HOME through your teaching every year.
If home is a place of stress for teens then help them know every year how to deal with home! Help teens work on their relationship with mom and dad by teaching on it every year.

Help Teens and Parents to Make Memories
Mission trips
Serving Together at church
Rites of Passage Experiences (www.ParentMinistry.Net)
Fun Events / laughter is a big deal!

Invest in Parents
# point them to great resources
# involve them with your teaching series (more communication)
# provide Hot-Topic nights to help parents face and issue
# connect with your Family Ministry Team to do a parenting event for the community
# be available to give guidance to parents (gets better when you’re a parent or turn 30)

Don’t wait for permission. Start partnering with parents. Do Something.