A few years ago, we started holding an annual, 45 minute, school year orientation meeting for parents of students in our youth ministry.
Honestly, I have no idea why I waited so long to start doing something like this... I think I did one my first couple of years in ministry and then stopped when parents became familiar with my ministry and the demand/fears subsided. But I really never should have stopped. I honestly think it's one of the very best things we do for parents all year.
Anyway, we did it again this last Sunday after our weekend services with parents of middle school & high school age kids. It was advertised on our ministry blogs and pushed it in the main church service as an important piece for all families with teens in our program. It's still not got a great attendance (or at least what I wished it had), I think because most still think it's old info or just for families with new 6th graders or freshmen... but hopefully in the years ahead we'll be able to change the tide and see more families there.
Here's why we do it:
- It reminds the new and old of why we do what we do cuz we talk philosophy and vision for a few minutes.
- It gives parents a chance to hear from our staff and for us to express our desire to team with them.
- Because we give them a big picture of all our major events and their estimated costs for the school year, it gives families a chance to budget their time and money if they want their student(s) involved in our program. This alone seems to me to worth it's weight in gold as a parent who wants to see my student actively engaged in our ministry and plan our weekends and family life accordingly.
- It gives us a chance to share what volunteer needs we have and communicate ways to serve in alongside of us in both big and small ways.