Tuesday, August 10, 2010

KEEPING PARENTS IN THE LOOP

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.
In case you're a parent of one of our students and missed this meeting or if you're just curious what we pass out... here's a pdf handout you can download with all the details.

5 comments:

lindabrang 7:27 AM  

this would be great to post on the encounter blog too. very helpful. maybe consider inviting small group leaders to next years meeting, to give parents a chance to meet them? I had one parent I invited ask me if small group leaders would be there, her son is an incoming freshman.

brian c. berry 7:58 AM  

yeah Linda... I'm in the process this week of trying to contact all our small group leaders for the fall. It was on the encounter blog, just the download wasn't there before the meeting. Now that we've had the meeting we'll be adding it to the blog this week. Have fun on vacation.

Anonymous,  3:09 PM  

I love what you have here. This is great for parents, volunteers, or anyone wanting to know more about your ministry. One question...what is your parent training day? What does that look like and what are your goals?

brian c. berry 10:48 PM  

our parent training day is 5 hours. 1 hour about our student ministry, 3 hours in two sessions from one or two keynote teachers, and an hour of q/a. We have a break for a meal in there that we host and the q/a is done over the meal. Our goal is to come along side of parents and to give them practical wisdom for God-fearing parenting of teens in our culture. We keep the cost to like $15 for a single parent or $25 for a couple so it's reasonable. This is a 4th year doing it and it's always a hit. Last year it was a sunday afternoon over dinner. The previous years was a saturday morning/earl afternoon and included lunch.

Chad 2:35 PM  

This is Great! Maybe I am a little behind but I am trying to get my 2010-11 schedule done and the way that you have prepared and broken it down helps me visualize my schedule in a different way. I am always trying to communicate with my parents so they feel connected and in the loop. I do weekly emails but feel like maybe that is overkill even though it is timely and always up to date with changed as needed. I want to thank you so much for sharing this and inspiring me with your admin skills. I pray you keep up the great work and don't grow weary!

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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