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How You Can Help Families Win

Every week Cathy and I block out time to “talk calendar”—it’s as official as our weekly date night. In our home, calendar-time is vital to making our family function.

A detailed, accurate, up-to-date, clearly communicated calendar is an essential part of our lives. Like most families, we’ve got a lot going on: work, ministry, kids’ schedules, housework, yard work, friends, exercise, etc… and the sooner we can plan, the better.

One of the significant parts of our weekly calendaring experience is trying to know what’s going on in our kids’ lives—especially in the areas of (1) school, (2) sports, and (3) church.

When I talk to other parents, most agree that school and sports organizations do a better job of communicating dates than the church.

If you happen to be someone who works with, oversees or influences the church calendar (children/youth/general), here’s the principle to help families: the earlier we know important dates, the better it is for our family.

You want to help families? Serve them with dates early. Let us know WHEN and WHAT it’s going to cost us. We don’t need all the details (what time you’re leaving, your exact locations, etc…), just enough to block out the dates and think thru how it may impact our budget.

Also, your communication doesn’t need to be fancy (three color brochures)… just make sure it’s clear. Here’s an example of a daily email I get from my daughter’s high school. While it’s basic (even boring), it gives us everything we need to help our family plan ahead.

I know you want to help families… get them the dates ASAP so they can plan–it may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s real important for families.

Question:: What steps do you take to communicate clearly to families?  

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Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and former pastor to students at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of 50+ books, including the best-selling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry & Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry. He's also the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, an instructor at Azusa Pacific University/HomeWord, and on the leadership team with Youth Specialties. You can connect with Doug through his blog at www.downloadyouthministry.com! More from Doug Fields or visit/subscribe to Doug's blog at www.dougfields.com