3 Ways to Better Partner with Parents This Week
In ministry, it can be tough to partner with parents.
I always think to myself: “Man, I want to partner with parents better. But they always seem so busy. And they never actually say it, but they give the vibe that they’d prefer me to be the spiritual caregiver for their kids…instead of them.”
The challenge is in breaking through the busyness, and helping parents realize that they are the most important spiritual caregiver that their kids have, whether they’re intentional about it or not.
I still often have the feeling that we need to partner with parents better, but here are 3 things we do that have been really effective:
Reverse the Conversation to Partner with Parents
(This concept comes from a great resource you may want to check out: parentministry.net)
But the idea is that you take time on Sunday during Large Group, Small Groups, and Checkout to challenge kids to talk with their parents about God.
In Large Group it can be something as simple as: “If you heard from God today, make sure you let your parents know, so they can talk with you about it!”
In Small Group the leader could simply say: “Make sure you let your parents know if you heard from God today, and ask them to pray with you about your prayer requests.”
During checkout, to really help kids reverse the conversation, we give them a slip of paper with a fun question (Like “What’s your favorite thing about summer?”) and a spiritual question (Like “Why did you start following Jesus?”).
When we give it to them, we say: “Make sure you ask your parents these questions on the way home.”
(You can learn more about this, and see an example in this post: 1 Simple Way to Get Families to Have a Spiritual Talk on the Drive Home)
Use Small Group Leaders at Check-In and Check-Out to Partner with Parents
We were struggling with connecting parents with Small Group leaders, so we started having Small Group Leaders hangout in the foyer where parents dropped off and picked up their kids.
They don’t check kids in; their only job is to keep an eye out for the kids in their Small Group and greet them when they come.
Then at checkout, the Small Group Leaders give the kids from their group the slip of paper with the 2 questions and the parents a Family Devo.
It’s maybe 30 seconds of interaction on either end, but it let’s parents know who’s sowing into their kids on a consistent basis, and begins a relationship.
(To help Parents and Small Group Leaders really build, deep, meaningful relationships (which takes more than a week) check out this post: A Way to Partner with Parents Digitally AND Personally)
Email Value Adding Content to Partner with Parents
I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this one a million times, and maybe it’s worked well or it hasn’t; either way just hear me out.
When you send emails that are mainly informational (i.e. “Camp is coming up,” “We have this event this month,” “Remember to sign up for VBS,” etc.) you aren’t really doing anything to partner with parents.
Don’t get me wrong, information is good, but it has to be secondary to value adding content.
What I mean by value adding content is that you’re emailing stuff to parents that helps them be better at parenting.
For example, every Sunday afternoon, we schedule an email that has 4 value adding aspects, and 1 informational aspect.
Value add 1: A helpful parenting video or podcast
Value add 2: A digital copy of our Family Devo
Value add 3: A button for parents to ask questions and share prayer requests
Value add 4: A helpful parenting article
Informational aspect 1: The most important announcement for the current month.
Here’s a screenshot of the email:
We use mailchimp.com to send emails, which is a free email campaign service.
(If you have a MailChimp account, you can use this link to download the template above if you’d like to use it: https://us2.admin.mailchimp.com/templates/share?id=6796930_8561f3c765802593142f_us2)
So those are the 3 things, which can all be put in place in less than a week.
If you think they’d help you partner with parents better in your context, then go for it!
Have a question or want to share some simple and effective ways you partner with parents? Leave a comment.
And as always, it would be super helpful if you shared this post using the buttons below or on Facebook!
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