Do not ignore parents. You need them to help your ministry grow. The way that will happen is by getting them to buy in and invest in you and your youth ministry.
To get more buy in might seem like an impossible task. Parents want what’s best for the kids. What you need to do is clarify that for parents by making sure they know:
The Identity of Your Ministry,
The Vision and Mission,
And What Your Ministry Offers the Entire Family.
MAKING YOUR MATERIALS AVAILABLE
Parents are going to ask their teens, “What did you learn?” The response most of them will receive is, “Not much.”
As the youth minister, you need to fill in the blanks by making sure parents have access to the materials. This will help them create conversation with their teens.
Equip them with your materials by:
Posting them online.
Producing a ministry newsletter.
Sending them in an email blast.
Making your materials available will build buy-in because you are saying to them, “This is so important, I want you to have it.”
AVOIDING FALSE PROMISES
Do not overpromise. You will create disappointment and a lack of trust. Many times, false promises are made out of fear of letting someone down.
Saying “No” or “I can’t guarantee that” will feel like you are letting someone down. The reality is that it communicates, “I care about you so I want to be honest with you.”
COMMUNICATING TIL YOU TURN BLUE
Parents do not want to feel like they are falling behind when it comes to raising their teens. Communicate, communicate and communicate. That might mean investing in your social media mediums and website.
Do not be afraid to “check-in” and send reminders about an event or even your program. Let parents know what’s going on in the ministry as much as possible. This will build confidence and more buy-in to what you are doing.
PLACING PARTNERS IN THEIR LIVES
Parenting is difficult and messy. There will be times when a parent and teen cannot communicate. This is where youth ministry is so essential. Introduce parents to their teen’s small group leader. Make it clear that this is someone they can reach out to when their teen won’t respond.
INVESTING IN THEIR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
If you want parents to buy into your ministry, you need to invest into their lives. This means challenging them to grow spiritually. If your church provides ministry, mission or small group opportunities, make sure parents know about them.
Paint a vision of how their own spiritual growth will impact their teens. They’ll see you as someone who not only cares about their teenager but the entire family.
If parents know who you are and why you exist, they’ll be more confident in their investment. Build up buy-in by making sure parents know that you care.