I have a saying in our youth ministry, it really should be added to our purpose statement, but one thing that I strive for, I try to make our parents feel like rock stars. It's something that I've learned in my short time as a parent, that sometimes I just feel like a failure.
Sometimes no matter what I do, I feel like a parenting failure. I get short with my daughters when I'm frustrated, I can't afford some things they want, and sometimes I'm just selfish. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there, so with that in mind, what can I do as a youth minister to encourage the parents of my students? I tell my volunteers that if my students parents feel like a rock star after they're done talking to me, I just won the biggest battle in youth ministry.
What are some practical ideas to encourage parents?
- Every time you talk to a parent go out of your way to give them one encouraging bit of info on their student. Did little Jimmy do something special on that mission trip? Did Sarah go out of her way to make a visitor feel welcome? What about little Timmy did he memorize last weeks bible verse? These are things that tell parents all this money, and all this investment in time they are making in their students is worth it.
- Jeremy Lee from ParentMinistry.net gave me this idea. Have a parent of the month award. Have your students write a essay on why their parent should win the award, choose one, bring the parent the essay, and something like a milk shake or balloons to their work or home and recognize them as the parent of the month. Video tape the presentation and show the video in your youth and adult services. Make it into a big deal.
- Follow your students parents on social media. You have no idea how easy it is to take ten seconds and drop them a line and say 'I just want to say your doing a great job raising Emily, she is very blessed to have you as her parent.'
- Sit by parents at sporting events! Your going to be there anyway, sit with them and join them in cheering for their child.
- Host a fun event just for parents. No other motives, just a time for them to get together with no students and have fun.
Just some great fun ideas to encourage your parents to be the best spiritual leaders of their family that they can be! Until Next Time!
Just Keep Swimming!