Partnering with Parents Part II: It All Comes Down To These Two Things

Partnering with Parents Part II: It All Comes Down To These Two Things

I know why you do what you do, you get what a big deal this is! You love kids and students, you believe in pouring into the next generations now so they have a better future.  But that is only part of what your job is as a KidMin or StuMin leader… are you ready to hear the most important part of your job?  

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Here’s the hard truth: This is the hardest part of your strategy when it comes to ministry.  

If we really are for kids and students, then we won’t let their parents parent alone!

You’re reading this because you know this is a BIG and important topic!
It’s hard. It’s squishy and messy. And it requires intentionality, thoughtfulness, patience and
empathy to see parents the way Jesus sees them and to create a message to parents (all parents) that empowers them, equips them, and encourages them to be who God created them to be… The primary spiritual influencer in their child’s life.

But here’s where it gets hard… it’s all the “doing” right?! Sunday is always coming, and then there’s “Meeting Monday”, Wednesday’s, Summer calendar full of camps and VBS, Back-to-school, Fall Festivals, Christmas, Easter …. the list is never ending.

But when we partner with parents, it gives us the opportunity to give parents a different message.  A message that says we’re for them and we want them to WIN!

Parents need advocates, cheerleaders, coaches and mentors. Because many times,
they don’t know what they don’t know and they’re wondering if they’re doing this parenting thing right.  I literally remember praying, “God please let them turn out alright despite their parents.”

There are two things we do know about every parent:  And these two things are true about every parent:

  • It doesn’t matter if they are married or single,
  • If they have much or are content with little.
  • It doesn’t’ matter if they live in Colorado, Texas, the left coast or the right coast, the
    UK, Norway or Uganda.
  • It doesn’t even matter if they if they have a faith foundation or if they don’t.

See I believe that every parent wants to be a good parent, and every parent can take a next step.  It’s simple: To partner with parents in a busy and noisy world with a strategic message, it’s important to communicate 2 things so every parent hears them loud and clear:

WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW? 

I think first we want them to know that they are welcomed, expected, accepted, qualified and included! Made in the image of God!  Like we covered in the last post (find it here), we want them to know they matter and that everybody is invited to the party, right?!!!

We want them to know that they are the most important influence their child will ever have.  They are the primary spiritual influencer over their kids and they can’t outsource influence.  We also want them to know that they aren’t alone… that we’re here to partner with them, help them, inspire them and equip them to be all the God created them to be.

WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO? 

As much as we think about the “church”, Jesus and ministry… parents are busy.  They are thinking about how to pick kid #1 up from school and get them to soccer practice, while kid #2 needs to get to the orthodontist at the same time. And dinner, who has time to think about cooking dinner?!

They need to know that they are created to be the primary influence over their children.  They need to know that they can make every moment a teachable moment.  Remind them of the patterns and rhythms in their lives already and how to make the most of those daily rhythms.  Make sure that you’re resourcing them with great content (the Parent Cue App and the weekly Parent Cue hand-outs available through Orange are great resources for parents).  I like to tell parents to just do the next thing… maybe that’s praying once a week at a meal, or maybe it’s having a spiritual conversation while they’re driving to soccer practice.  These are simple things, but parents need to know that to be a spiritual influence for their kids doesn’t require them having a theology degree or sitting down once a week for a family devotional.  It’s time over time… having small spiritual conversations during the natural rhythm of their days.

How are you communicating to parents?  Do they know you want to partner with them?  Do they know what you want them to do?  Grade yourself and your ministry around these two questions, I bet you’ll find some great discoveries.  It’s not hard to partner with parents, but it does take being intentional to set aside time and make this a priority.  There’s too much at sake not to include this in your strategy.  Multiply your effort by partnering and equipping parents to be the primary spiritual influence in their child’s life.

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