If I were to give our parent ministry at Saddleback a grade, it would have to be a “C”. I’m sure we go about it better than we could, but not nearly as well as we should, or as well as we are capable of given our manpower and resources.
For years I’ve said about larger churches that at a certain point, they have the resources to do whatever they choose to do…a particular ministry focus (or lack of) isn’t a resource issue, it’s a priority issue. So, I have to hold myself to that same standard: Simply put, the reason our parent ministry is average is because we have put an average amount of effort into it. But that’s about to change. In both our high school and junior high ministries, we are cranking up our efforts to minister to the parents of teenagers in our church and, hopefully, our community.
I’m noodling on all sorts of ideas….here are some of them in no particular order:
- A “mantra” that declares: “We partner with parents and try to provide them with hope and help as they raise their teenagers.”
- A “Parent Hub” website that consists of: book recommendations, articles, follow-up questions they can ask about the weekend lessons, basic “how to” tips and tricks, links to other parent ministries, blogs etc.
- A “Been There, Done That” ministry: This ministry would be made up of parents who have already navigated troubled waters with their teenagers and are willing to encourage another set of parents going through the same thing: We can match up parents who had a child get caught up in the party scene meet for coffee with a set of parents whose child is doing the same thing. A parent who had a child run away meets with a couple with a child threatening to do the same thing. A set of parents who had a teenager go through a serious illness meets with a similar couple….etc.
- Parent Newsletter: This would be short, sweet and simple….but sent out every week. Mostly pointing them to the website for current information.
- A (very) occasional parent workshop….twice a year.
- The usual social media stuff like twitter, instagram, text message subscription etc. that some of the younger parents will utilize
- A person from each team who has parents as a primary part of their job description…not just an “add on” to everybody’s that nobody really pays attention to. To ensure at least SOME of the above ideas become a reality!
How would you grade your ministry to parents? Do you have something that is working really well for you? Would you be willing to share it with the rest of us?