By Justin Herman
We all want to connect with parents right?? I mean its crazy for anyone to think that one youth pastor and a team of leaders could be held responsible for the spiritual development of a youth group of any size. It is all about leveraging the influences (parents and church) to have a greater impact on every student. So we need to help foster connections between parents and our adult volunteers so that no group (youth workers, small group leader, or parents) feel like they are doing it alone.
There are 2 things we at Christ Presbyterian Church have done to help connect parents and small group leaders:
(1) Small Group Leader Cards: We want every parent to not just know we have small group or Life Group leaders but we we want them to really know who they are, as people. We want the parent to freely be able to email their small group leader and have open conversation outside of church; invite them over for dinner, to a sports game, or a play. We want parents to have access to fun facts about their student’s small group leader, and really get to know who they are. Most of all we want it to be able to make it easy for them to pray for these leaders who are taking a role in shaping their students spiritual development. So we put together a card for every leader and keep them at our information wall (it could be at a table, info desk). The card has: email, a few fun facts, a picture, and the area they serve in. We encourage every parent to get their leaders card. Put it on their fridge, in their office, where ever they will see it often. For example here are Cameron’s and Sarah’s leader card:
(2) Small Group Leader/ Parent breakfasts: We found times for our leaders and parents to get together and foster discussion in a way that allows them to get to know each other better and see that we are really all on the same team after all. From placemats to discussion cards we provide tools to facilitate discussion. After the breakfast event was over, parents and small group leaders were so excited to finally “connect”. For our church, this was completely new territory. There has never been anything done in order to connect small group leader and parent.
Our pastors loved that the breakfast cultivated inter-generational relationships.
Our small group leaders loved it because it is not always easy to just “connect” with parents; and the breakfast set the stage for bridging the gap.
Our parents loved being able to put a name to a face, and hear from the leader’s mouth (and not only from “the youth pastor”) how much they value, love and care for their student.
I have see this done in afternoon Saturday lunch formats, as well as evening dessert nights. All great adaptations to this breakfast event, and the point is always the same: connecting small group leaders with parents. If you want to see pics of this Small Group Leader/Parent breakfast event click here.
No youth pastor wants the be the only person that every parent sees and talks to about how to better love and serve their students. There is always more we can do to connect our small group leaders with parents, so what am I missing?
What are you doing at your church that I can steal and do out here in California.
Leave a comment and share your ideas!