///5 Ways to Partner with Parents

5 Ways to Partner with Parents

I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my first few years of youth ministry. I’ve totaled church buses and run over cats with the church van. I’ve gone over budget and over-hyped an event. I’ve left kids at gas stations and left leadership out of the loop as I did my own thing.

But one other, more subtle mistake I made was not partnering with parents. I didn’t even try! I thought youth ministry was the “be all, end all” of spiritual discipleship for teenagers and decided to ignore these whining, argumentative, frustrating people. Why won’t they leave me alone and just let me disciple their children?

How stupid is that? So I’ve been a bonehead in youth ministry more times than I can imagine (and still do from time to time, argh) but partnering with parents is one as a seasoned veteran I’m not going to do anymore. Here are 5 words that I want to describe our partnership with parents as a youth ministry. 

Communicate
This is the most basic function of a youth ministry’s relationship to parents. Keep them in the loop. Let them know what is planned and give overwhelming clarity and communication. This means that your email lists, text database and interpersonal skills have to be sharp. The DYM Parent Newsletter as part of the monthly membership might be a helpful tool as you do this. And remember that communication at the lowest level is AT parents, ideally it moves to a conversation.
Educate
Help parents understand what their teenager is going through. You may be surprised at how little most parents understand about adolescent development. They’re just intimidated by what they don’t know and don’t understand, so partnering with parents in education relieves the fear and pain.
Equip
You probably know some great parent resources to put in their hands – this is what a great parent partnering youth group does. They ight even do above and beyond and have a library of suggested resources or make things like DYM’s Parent Tips available in the foyer of the church.
Blend
Our big experiment the past two years has been a “blending” of our student ministry and adult church called Worship Together Weekend. We want our students to worship side-by-side with their parents and together as a church body. We love youth group, we want to continue to do specialized ministry to this age group.
Believe
I think this one is largely intangible, but as a youth worker, you have to really make sure you believe that this is the best way. I could have started with this one, but I like it at the end so it gives you some pause. It is easy to add a resource list or a parent newsletter, but at the very core you have to really want to have parents play a central role in the spiritual development of their teenager. Do you really believe it?

So, this week, we’ll both make some mistakes in our youth ministry. But be sure to not make the mistake of missing out on encouraging and partnering with the parents of the students in your ministry

JG

By | 2016-10-13T13:53:34+00:00 October 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Josh Griffin is one of the leading voices in youth ministry with over 20 years experience in the trenches, most recently as the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church. He's the co-founder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and been in 300+ episodes of the DYM Podcast with Doug Fields. He's created more than 50 youth ministry resources and authored several books including 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders. Josh and his wife Angela have 4 kids, which now includes 2 teenagers of their own! Contact Josh | Speaking Requests

Leave a Reply