Partnering with Parents… Practically!

I’ve heard lots & lots of ministries (including ours) say that it’s their goal to Partner with Parents of jr. highers. But how that happens is a little tougher to pin down.

As ministries are kicking off the school year, we’re spending the next month focusing on one primary goal in this area: Meet The Parents! (or … re-meet them, if you already know them)

Here’s how it’s working for us; since we have our small groups on-site right after our weekly church service, we’re telling our small group leaders that “your day isn’t done until you walk with a student to where they meet up with their parents, and introduce yourself”! A face-to-face connection early in the year is super-important. It helps parents realize that there really is someone in our ministry who Knows their kid, Cares about their kid, and will be Praying for their kid this year. If small group leaders don’t meet parents early in the year, it’s a much tougher connect with them later on, especially if it’s brought on by a crisis of some kind.

But NOT ONLY for “new” parent-kid relationships! Our small group rhythm isn’t nearly as regular during the summer. (ok – there’s actually barely any rhythm at all in the summer!) So even for returning leaders who already know the parents of their students, a face-to-face connect early in the year is pivotal. “How was the summer? How’s your son feeling about his start to the school year? Anything you want me to know as we begin a new year of small group?”

The tougher challenge is for parents whose kid comes to our ministry, but the parent doesn’t come to our church. A face-to-face connect might not be possible, but a friendly beginning-of-the-year phone call is a great move!

We’re shooting for 90% of our parents to see the face of a ministry leader in the first month of school. How about you?

Previous articleMars Hill to Open New Venue in Liberal Portland Neighborhood
Next articleBring God Into The Equation
Scott Rubin
Scott Rubin has been on staff at Willow Creek Community Church for 18 years, and he's currently the director of Elevate, the junior high ministry at Willow Creek. Scott, along with an entirely-fantastic team of staff and volunteer leaders, has the privilege of helping young adolescents follow Jesus. He also co-authored two books in the Middle School Survival Series with Mark Oestreicher.