I think the old adage is true that in church, “20% of people do 80% of the work.” I wonder how effective our churches would be if more people were involved in the things they cared about. As a youth minister, I often wonder why parents don’t get involved more. Am I intimidating? Do they not believe in what we do? Is it too hard? Do they not really like their own kids?
Actually, I think the problem is that we don’t ask. We often get caught up with the idea that youth group is a place for students to be away from the parents. I don’t think that should be the case. If you read the last few posts of my blog, you understand how I firmly believe that God’s plan is for parents to be the major spiritual influence in the lives of their kids. If they’re going to be that, why wouldn’t they be involved in the places their kids are being ministered to? Well, I firmly believe they should be.
I haven’t always felt this way, in fact there was a time when I preferred young adults as leaders in my ministry. But now being almost 30 years old and having children of my own, I see the importance of the parental influence in the student ministry I’m in charge of. How else will I know what’s going on in students lives? How else will parents know what’s going on in the ministry? I can try to have meetings, I can try to put calendars and bulletins in their hands, but is that enough? In my experience, it is not.
There are always things that need to be done. I’m recently in the process of developing jobs for the leaders in our ministry. I will create new jobs to get parents involved. I will call up parents when we need to paint. I will call a mom when it’s time to fold booklets. I’m not ashamed anymore. I need to spend time with parents just as much as I need to with their kid. In fact, according to part 3 of my last series of posts. It’s the most important thing I can do. I can use those opportunities to share the heart behind our ministry and get them to buy in with the vision. It’s amazing what parents will make their kids do if they believe in it. No joke, they’ll force their kid to be at your next event if they truly believe it’s going to benefit them. How will they know the value of your event if they aren’t invested in it? What better way to increase your ministries credibility than spending one on one time with them working for the ministry together?
Parent, this is a win win situation! Yes, the youth pastor is going to rope you in to “buying in” to their ministry but is that a bad thing? I submit that it is not. You need to know the guy/girl who is ministering to your teen. It is so easy to know what your student should benefit from in youth services if you have a relationship with the guy who leads them. You go to your parent/teacher conferences and open houses and coaches meetings, right? If it’s important to get to know the people teaching and coaching your kid, how much more important is it to know the one who is ministering to them for at least that one hour a week? I’ll tell you, it’s SUPER important. Get involved! You’ll be glad you did.
Youth Pastor: How do you involve parents? Have you seen your ministry benefit from it?
Parent: What do you do to help your teen/child’s minister? Are you involved with your teenager’s youth group or your child’s kid’s church or class? What benefits have YOU seen?
Answer in the comments below and check back for Monday’s post.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.