Last week I wrote a post titled, “Partnering with Parents: What are you doing to help?” This post received such an amazing response that I want to share some of what our peers are doing. These 7 ideas are simply scratching the surface of the ideas that came in. I envision their feedback making into more posts.
Here are 7 great ideas of what was submitted by various youth workers. I’ve given credit to those who submitted their ideas. Thanks gang!
1. One-on-One meetings (Mike Dolce)
I have been meeting one-on-one with parents of teens to see how our team can better partner with them.
I try to have one meeting a week for about an hour. I ask a lot of questions:
• What are your dreams for you teens?
• Where do you want to see them spiritually 1 year from now? 5 years?
• What is your plan?
• How will you help them get there?
• What are your strengths?
• What are your core values?
• What’s going on in your family and your kid’s life right now that would help me and the youth leaders know how to best work with your teen?
• How can I support you and your family better?
• How are YOU doing spiritually right now?
• What are some non-negotiable values you want your teen to embrace?
2. Right of passage (Jeremy Lee)
We have developed a Rite of Passage for each grade from 6th-12th grade for parents to lead their students through. It is based on felt need and we focus on making it easy to pull off so it won’t overwhelm the parent.
It’s free online: http://www.ritesofpassageproject.com
3. Parents on Facebook (Tim Severson)
We connect with parents on Facebook. it has become a great way to let parents see our leaders and learn more about what we’re doing in life and ministry.
4. Weekly email update (Chuck Aden & Kevin Libick)
I try to keep an open line of communication with all parents by sending out a weekly email that includes any upcoming events or information that they need to know. I also include one parenting tip each week. I have received so many positive responses of how timely some of those tips have been.
(Kevin Libick) We also do a weekly email that includes important info, parent training, and a summary of our lesson with questions for parents to ask at home. It’s gotten a huge response from our parents.
5. Family-ministry umbrella (Gerad Hall)
Our Youth Ministry has recently come under a Family Ministry umbrella and we’re trying a few things: (1) Blog site that has current teaching series, questions unique from small group time that parents can ask their teens. (2) We have a parent night at the beginning of the year to help make them aware of what we’re going to be teaching, what events we’re doing (plus costs), and ways we’ll be asking students to serve. (3) We have special meetings with parents of 5th grade & 8th grade parents to help prepare them for the transition into the next ministry. (4) We’ve also added a small group leader/parent breakfast so parents have a starting point in their relationship with their student’s small group leaders.
6. Home visits (Laura)
I have family meetings where at least 3 times a month I spend time with a different family in their home, getting to know them and letting them get to know me.
7. Parenting Seminars while teenagers are meeting (Mike McGarry)
I’ve been hosting occasional Parenting Seminars on various topics (Adolescent Development, Postmodernism, Media’s Influence, etc.). I’ve scheduled these seminars for parents to attend while their kids are at youth group (which was being led by my awesome youth leadership team).
Question: What are you doing to help parents/families? If you didn’t weigh in before…share an idea HERE that is unique to this list.