I recently was doing an interview and the question was asked, “What resources do you use to equip parents?” While there are great resources and tools the answer is much more simple.
RELATIONSHIPS. While there are great programs and books for parenting the best way to equip them is to introduce them into healthy relationships. To do that make sure you are:
GIVING THEM A LIAISON
You need to fill your ministry with adults who not only love teenagers but the parents as well. There will be a time when the teen will not want to talk to their parents and that’s when your volunteers step in. Make sure your volunteers and parents are interacting.
Make sure everyone has the correct contact information. Encourage leaders to meet with parents face to face. Even host a night where parents just meet your volunteers. When parents know they have a liaison to their child they’ll be thankful for the support.
CONNECTING THEM TO LIKE-MINDED PARENTS
Parents will invest so much time in the life of their children that sometimes they forget to invest in relationships with adults their own age. As a youth minister you can plan events, and provide opportunities where parents can connect with other like minded parents.
Build a small group program at your church for adults. Build in fellowship time at meetings. Make sure parents know that they are not alone with their values and ideals.
APPROACHING THEM WITH LOVE
Parents are constantly hearing critiques and criticism about their teenagers. Rarely do they hear praise. As a youth minister avoid making your only contact with parents a negative experience.
Find time each week to call a parent to talk about what you’ve learned about their kid. Brag on them and celebrate the job they are doing as a parent. Let them see you as someone who not only cares about their teenager but them as well.
INTRODUCING THEM TO EXPERTS
Do not be afraid to bring an outsider to speak into the lives of parents. It doesn’t mean you are a weak leader it means you are actually a wise one. You do not have all the answers, nor do you need to have them all.
Give parents someone who can share the same content but from a different perspective. It doesn’t have to be someone famous, in fact it can be the youth minister down the road. Introduce them to other sources of wisdom.
Parenting can feel like a silo and youth ministry can bridge the gap by providing opportunities for relationships. If a parent feels supported by your ministry they’ll return the investment. They will encourage their teens to attend, get involved and become your biggest advocates.
Question: What are the important relationships you try to connect parents to? You can leave a comment by clicking here.