In student ministry, we know that dealing with parents is a mandatory this. Most experiences are great, some, not so much. But it’s our responsibility to make sure that we are ministering them, equipping them, communicating to them because they spend way more time with your students than they do.
I have the privilege to oversee our guys small groups, and I get to lead a group of juniors, so I get to talk to a ton of parents, which is great. I have amazing group of parents of the guys in my small group who I get to work along side the with raising and being apart of their child’s life. What an honor that we are allowed to speak into their lives and their parents let you, and we owe it to their parents to work with them in ministering to their kids.
Over the holidays I have thought about this a lot, because the parents have been so gracious to my wife and I with our new marriage. I have been thinking about what are the easiest, but necessary ways we can do as ministers to the parents of our students.
Be available to them: If it’s a voicemail, email, or face to face, showing they are a priority is one of the biggest things we can do for them. We tell our parents when we launch our small groups every year, that we want to come along side them and do ministry together. That they are able to talk with us about their student. We as a team, made the promise to get back to parents within 24 hours of an email or voicemail because that shows they are a priority. Be available.
Encourage them: it’s unbelievable how a little conversation about how well their student is doing and you telling them they have done a great job. It reassures them they are not crazy even when their teen is going crazy at home. I just had a mom tell me that she didn’t know if she handled a situation right with her son, not knowing he talked to me about what had happen and he thought she was fair and understood everything she said. I let her know that and it seemed that the whole world was lifted off her shoulders. Encourage them and let them know how their pouring into their students life is working and making a difference.
Keep your word: this seems simple, but can be hard. When I speak to parents they let me know when games are, plays are, events are, if you let your student know or the parent know that you are coming, go. Or at least communicate if you can’t, it makes a difference. If you say you are going to be done at 9pm, be done at 9pm. Parents are already strapped on time with working and being at home with the other family, the last thing they need to worry about a schedule being thrown off because we were irresponsible of our time.
Give them stuff… Resources: if you come across a great article, post from a blog, or book, which we always come across, send it out in an email or just sent the book to them. I have my parents in my small group in an email group and I send out links to great blogs and articles I read and the response is great. It makes is feel like we are in this together, because we are.
Easy, simple steps that can “up” your relationships with parents.