What does it look like for student and children’s ministry leaders to partner with mom and dad? We are always trying to find ways to make this happen, but the best starting place for this discussion is asking what parents need from us. Until our ministries meet our parents where they are at, then they will never take steps toward a weekly partnership. Every parent your ministry encounters is unique. With every parent, you have to build trust before there is a partnership. In order to build that trust, here are a few basic things your parents need …
- Return calls and emails — Seriously, just email them back and call them back when you miss their call. Make sure parents know they are important by being responsive.
- Get organized or find people for your team who can make you look organized — I am not very organized, but I have had to surround myself with people who are! Being organized communicates professionalism.
- Create sticky environments for kids and teens — When teens and kids want to go back and ask to go back to your environment, parents smile.
- Communicate, communicate and then communicate some more — Use facebook, emails, flyers or old-fashioned smoke signals to communicate. Information is a big deal to parents.
- Keep an open door with your environments — When parents want to check out your environment, make it possible.
- Protect kids and teens — Think like a parent. Use background checks, stop pranks and hazing, have safe transportation. Parents want their children to be protected, and you can help with that goal and still have an amazing ministry!
- Deliver on your promises — Be home when you say you will be home from a retreat or event. That is just one issue, but you get what I am saying!
- Listen — When parents give you feedback, listen and say thanks. You may not agree with their feedback, but listening is a huge factor when building trust.