Today, my wife has her first function as PTA president of our oldest daughters school. She's really excited and nervous, but she asked me for tips on trying to get their meeting numbers up. She knew that part of my job as a youth pastor is connecting youth and parents. This includes parents meeting, which I actually have one this weekend.
These are some tips I gave her that apply to both PTA meetings and Youth Ministry Parents Meetings.
1: Keep it short.
Parents time is important. Keep your meetings short and to the point. Don't waste their time with unimportant things.
2: Make it worth their while.
Give the parents a reason to give you their time. Contact local companies about doing a 'family night' discount coupon. Pass those out at the meetings. For youth groups, hold a family movie night in conjunction with your meeting.
3: Less is more.
You don't have to have one mediocre meeting a month when you can have one really awesome meeting a quarter or for youth ministries every six months.
4: Involve the students.
Parents love to see their students showcased, it gives them a sense of accomplishment that everything that they have sacrificed is worth it. Bring in students to talk about what they have learned. Showcase a student who was 'caught doing something good.' Honor the honor roll students.
5: Offer encouragement.
Have the teachers, in case of the youth ministry youth self or the small group leaders, get up a give the parent a specific instance of their student doing good.
6: Advertise the meeting.
The earlier and more often the better! It gives parents an opportunity to plan ahead.
7: #1 tip for PTA and Youth Ministry?.
Success is not based on numbers!
If 40 parents show up, then those were the parents you were intended to reach. 40 is better than 5 and 5 is better than 0. Reach who you can reach, you cannot MAKE people show up.
Just Keep Swimming!