I couldn’t decide if I was frustrated or depressed. Maybe I was feeling both. Only nine parents showed up for our information meeting on Confirmation Preparation. It was one of those moments where I wondered, “Do I really need parents, to make my ministry go?”
The answer should be an obvious, “Yes.” Parents seem to be a topic of frustration amongst youth ministers. Instead of being companions in ministry they come off as opponents. You and I need to learn to get over it. Instead of looking at them as enemies or opponents, they need to be seen as:
- Potential Volunteers: A parent who serves is going to be invested because they want what’s best for their teen. Instead of having them focus on just their’s ask them to shepherd a few. Show them how much they can learn about their own teens by serving someone else’s child.
- Eventual Advocates: Parents trust other parents. Target the parents who are plugged into different groups and organizations. Ask them to introduce you to other parents, coaches, teachers and other influences in a teenager’s life. When an event or program is taking place ask them to plug it for you. Allow them to help you create a buzz.
- The Biggest Influence In Their Teen’s Life: Does not matter how present a parent is in their child’s life, their impact is huge. When you get a parent excited and behind your ministry they are going to support what you are teaching their teen. To help them get behind you communicate clearly and consistently cast vision.
If a parent sees you as a resource for their teen they’ll be willing to accept your partnership. Again, that means always:
- Communicating Clearly
- Following Through On Promises
- Affirming Them As The Parent
- Loving Them As Much As You Love Their Teen
Help your parents become aware that you are there to walk with them. When parents see you as a partner they’ll work with you and the frustration you have will subside. Earn their trust, show them love and see how they can help you.
How do you reach out to parents?