I used to hate meeting with parents because it meant another night away from home dealing with people I didn’t understand. When I became a parent I saw the importance; but the annoyance was still there. That’s because my experience of parent meetings were miserable. They were filled with lecturing, and were highly disorganized. Then I realized parent meetings didn’t need to stink. They can be engaging and should be approached as a big opportunity.
Communicating with parents is essential to what you do. There will be times when you need to connect with one and then other times with all of them. Instead of reluctantly gathering parents together on a weeknight when no one wants to be there, turn it into one of your greatest features as a youth ministry. The topic might not matter, all you need to do is make it a worth while experience. Which means you need to:
- Give Plenty Of Notice: Parent’s might not come to your meetings because you are throwing the event on them last minute. If the topic is engaging (i.e. How to talk to my kid about sex and dating) it might not matter. If it’s something slightly less attractive (i.e. Mission trip logistics meeting) you need plenty of time to inform, remind and compel them to come. Plus the more notice you give them, the more time you have to prepare.
- Have Someone At The Door: Make your meeting an experience where everyone is welcomed by standing at the door as parents come in. You don’t know what their day is like and having someone greet them with love and show them where to go is key. They might be anxious, nervous or reluctant to go. Starting the evening with hospitality will combat any negative feelings and show that you are hospitable.
- Keep To The Time: Start on time and end on time. It not only shows you are organized but conscious of other people’s schedules. Set an agenda and find someone to hold you accountable. People will appreciate you more when you do not waste their time.
- Cast Vision: You might be discussing policy in the student ministry; however, this is also a great time to share why you exist. Parent’s might not get to hear the vision of your ministry in other capacities. Make sure you do not miss out on this time to let them know how your ministry is more than babysitting teens.
- Leave Room For Connecting: Make sure you give yourself time at the end of the meeting to hang around and chat with parents. They might have been anticipating this as a moment to speak with you about their teen. This gives you the opportunity to recruit, and grow more leaders and advocates for the ministry.
If you can create effective and engaging parent meetings then you will build community with parents. If you value the relationship you have with parents they’ll trust you with their child that much more. Do not waste the opportunity of a meeting, embrace it and be intentional.
How do you make parent meetings worth your while and theirs?