It looked like we were prepared for last years parent meeting. Some quality table decorations. Some delicious snacks. The only thing missing? PARENTS.

Not kidding: We went all out for a parent meeting…and had 2 parents show up. Want to know what we learned? Well, the big one was to make sure that the email actually went out and the announcement was actually mentioned in big church. Here are the others!

99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers by Walt Mueller of CPYU 

Don’t create parent ministry in a vacuum.
Talk to parents and see what they would like or need. The last thing you want is to create an event or program they feel they don’t need. Trust us, we’ve done that several times and it’s humiliating. Talk to some core parents, and some on the fringe, and ask them to give you a perspective of what would be beneficial to their family.

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Pick the low-hanging fruit first.
You could probably start a text message list quickly and cheaply and take a huge leap forward. Maybe start a blog that shares what you taught at youth group last week—maybe with a few discussion questions for parents to follow-up with during the week. As you come across great resources for parents, consider posting a list in the church bulletin board (virtually or the one in the hallway). Start with a couple easy things to begin partnering with parents.
First…focus on the obvious.
Before you accomplish some grand vision of partnership with parents, think about the obvious places parents are looking for help: The transition from elementary school to junior high, from junior high to high school, and from high school to college are all massive for parents.

99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers by Walt Mueller of CPYU 

When their child starts taking sports seriously, starts working for the first time, or has his/her first serious relationship. If a family is going through a divorce, death or other traumatic event, there are lots of obvious, and very natural, places for you to begin ministering to parents without the formalities of meetings and newsletters!

Where have you found success in a young parent ministry at your church?

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  • Christian Waltmire says:

    I have been very convicted/encouraged that we need to make a major focus of our youth ministry on our parents.

    Some things I am thinking to do:
    – Family BBQ for fun and fellowship (we have been doing this toward the end of each school year, but I want to maybe do this at the beginning next time. It is for youth and their whole family and we usually do softball or kickball and maybe some sack races, etc. too.)
    – A night, early on in the school year with youth and their parents to talk about plans for the upcoming year and have parents and youth sign up for ways they want to help. (We did this on a Sunday after church a few years back, but this time I will try to do it on a normal Wednesday to not have one more thing to do.)
    – A two month (maybe little longer) study with parents and their youth on our regular Wednesday nights. We would have game, worship, and message all together, then have small groups with parents and their youth to go over the passage from the message. (This would take place in the spring so kids would have already had the whole fall to have just youth messages and small groups.)
    – And, in general, I plan to be in touch a lot more with the parents to talk about where their kids are and encourage those who are Christians to be the key spiritual leaders for their kids. (Instead of me getting with their kid to talk about doing devotions, having a relationship with Jesus, etc., I can talk to the parents and they can get with their kid.)

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