Here’s how to successfully get parents to genuinely commit to your children’s ministry–without making them crazy or eating up all of their spare time!
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Today’s parents. They’re a rare breed, a hard-to-understand breed. They’re returning to the church, but they’re reluctant to join. They’re unfamiliar with how to teach their children God’s truths, but they know the church can help. They want to help out at church, but they don’t have a lot of time.
And you need parents for your ministry, but you’re perplexed about how to get commitments from them.
Getting them involved is not as big a mystery as you might think. Children’s ministers who’ve been successful at involving parents in their ministries share these six secrets to get parents to commit to ministry.
1. Foster an investment mentality. Parents today need help teaching values to their kids, and they’re looking to the church for help. Many parents have rejected their parents’ values for so long that they don’t know how to communicate values to their children. Use your program to train parents in parenting skills and in how to communicate God’s truths.
Mark Savage, a children’s pastor in Illinois, says, “If parents aren’t comfortable discussing religious things with their children, then they can do that in the format of ministry. They may not know the Bible stories, so the ministry is a good opportunity for them to relearn those stories and apply them and help the children apply them.”
2. Serve parents. Don’t be shocked by what parents don’t know. One parent volunteer who hadn’t grown up in the church called her children’s church coordinator and asked, “Where can I buy manna for Sunday’s lesson?”
Make sure parents have the resources and training they need. Because many parents feel inadequate or inferior in a teaching situation, they need to know you’re on their side. Susan Grover, a director of children’s ministry in California, says, “[The parents] are here to serve us, but primarily we’re here to serve them. So the staff has an attitude of ‘How can I support you? How can I serve you while you serve?’ We’re helping people grow and mature in their walk with the Lord.”
You can also bless parents by giving them resources to lead their own children at home. One of the best, most trusted is Parenting Christian Kids newsletter. This newsletter is 100% customizable—by you. You deliver it from your ministry to all your parents each month. Parents find dozens of practical, doable ideas to expand their faith conversations at home as well as faith growth tips and information and insights into what’s happening in the world of kids. For less than $8 per month, you can help equip parents to becomes the faith leaders in their kids’ lives. Subscribe today!
3. Be relational. Because many parents are single or have relocated several times, they crave companionship through church. So a crucial key to recruiting parents is developing personal relationships. Network with parents at all times-before and after worship services, in the new members class, at brunches, after prayer meetings, or during any social gathering. Let them know that you want to be their friend.
Make it easy for parents to approach you and teachers. Some parents don’t sense that you’re open to “new blood.” Identify teachers in a positive way by using badges or T-shirts to make them more approachable. Let parents know that if they volunteer they’re joining a team. No parent wants to be stuck in a room with no hope of adult contact ever again.