Parents Ministry, Family Ministry, or Inter-generational Ministry whatever you want to call it seems to be the hot button topic in youth ministry today. From mega churches who are learning about it to smaller country churches who have been doing it forever but want to get a fresh perspective on it, we all cannot debate it’s place in our job description or its value on the spiritual development of our students.
While there are many different theories and strategies out there, I’ll give you an insight to one that has taken off at our church. When I hold a parents meeting I cannot get more than three or four sets of parents there at the same time. So the nifty resources I get for them only make it in the hands of a few parents. So how to get the other parents resourced became a priority. So I designed a nice looking resource table, placed it in the church foyer, and since then I cannot keep the resources on the table. I could make guesses as to why it works, our parents want help but they want it anonymously or they don’t want the other parents thinking they don’t have it all together but the fact of the matter is the resources are going out with great results. I’ve had a ton of parents call me to discuss this or that from a book or article so as long as its working I’m good with that.
In case you were wondering what the top resources are at our church, here ya go:
- 1: “A Parents Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains” by Mark Oestreicher (by far the most grabbed book on the table. I cannot keep this one stocked up!)
- 2: “A Parents Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls” by Mark Oestreicher and Brooklyn Lindsey
- 3: “A Parents Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys” by Mark Oestreicher and Brock Morgan
- 4: “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers” by Walt Mueller
- 5: “A Parents Guide to Understanding Social Media” by Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane
- 6: CPYU Digital Kids Initiative Articles by Walt Mueller and CPYU (I print one up a month, put it in handout format, and make copies)
The key to this idea, like anything in ministry is the follow up. When I talk to a parent I ask them if they grabbed any resources lately and if they say yes I ask which one they’ve enjoyed and we talk about it. Plus all of our parents know if they have any questions with the resources that I am always there to help.
Kevin Patterson is the youth pastor at Dawson Springs First Baptist Church in Dawson Spring, KY. Be sure to check out http://www.lifeintheymfishbowl.blogspot.com/ to regularly get in on his learnings, too!