This year my small group is going be seniors. This is my last year with them and I am so excited but also really sad. I took them over when they were in the middle of the sophomore year and it has been an incredible couple years. God has moved in big ways in the group. One of my favorite things about my group are their parents. They are incredible. I really do believe as a small group leader, we need to partner with parents as much as we can. After all, they spend way more time with their child than we do. I make sure their is a partnership their and let me tell you, I know they appreciate it. Here are somethings we suggest our leaders to do to partner with parents of their small group kids:
Know them- You would be surprised how many small group leaders have not even met the parents of their students. This is crazy to me. One that a parent wouldn’t want to meet the person they are dropping their child off to for two hours and that the leader wouldn’t want to know the parents. It is a two-way street for sure, but it is the leader who needs to make the first step. Go out in front of where you meet and greet parents as they are being dropped off. Get to know names and have small talk. Parents will love and appreciate it.
Be in communication with them – I send out a monthly email to the guy’s parents. I let them know what we will be going through this month and if there is any events they should be aware of coming up that their student probably forgot to let them know about. This is something I am going to adding to all of our parents this year in small groups. We are going to send out a monthly email to all parents to let them know what their students are going through in small groups so they can partner with the leaders and parents can ask about certain things teaching in small groups for when they are home. Also, this is a great way to keep our leaders accountable to teach what we tell their parents what we are teaching them. You can never over communicate.
Let them know you are here to serve them as well- I do my best to let parents know I am here to serve them as well, not only their students. I make sure I am accessible to them and they know they can contact me with anything that is on their mind about what is going on in HSM or in their student’s life. They respect your time so if they call it’s usually because they are legitimately concerned about something or they have a real question. I want them to know I am here for the family, not just their child.
Let them be involved somehow- This might look different for each group. My small group parents decided they will take turn cooking dinner every week for the group. It’s awesome. That is how they want to serve. Both, parents and I, believe that community and hanging out is huge in creating a trustworthy environment for students to be real and authentic when talking about faith. What better way to do that than to feast every week and just hang out for a while. But the parents talk to each other and plan out the schedule. they know they have a part in their child’s small group that is effective. There are a ton of ways to make this happen, it’s up to you to find the best one for parents to be involved in your group.
What are some other ways parents can get involved? Comment below and share some ideas!