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I’m a Parent; How Do I Get the YP to Listen?

 —  October 10, 2012 — 3 Comments

(Youth Workers: Pass this along to the parents you know.)

Dear Parent of a Child in the Youth Group,

In national surveys of youth workers in the US, curious about the biggest stress factor named? It’s not the noisy kids. Or the disruptive kids. Or the kids who terrorize a lock-in or the girls with the high pitch scream. Yep, named #1 in youth worker frustration? Parents.

Not you, of course. You’re great. You always remember your youth worker during Pastor Appreciation month. You’ve never forgotten a Christmas blessing or his/her birthday. You would NEVER call your kid’s youth worker on a Sunday night at the end of a long weekend retreat and wonder why your child is missing their pillowcase or got stung by a bee while on said retreat.

But for those parents who need a few tips in getting their church’s youth leader’s attention, here goes:

1) Remember the youth worker has several parenting styles to fit in. She has to find a middle-of-the road approach to the rules.

2) Weigh the success of the YM based on the group’s interaction, not just your child’s.

3) Go to the youth worker FIRST about a concern. Please don’t try your thoughts out on the other parents waiting in the parking lot.

4) If you have some concerns, email the youth pastor, letting him know what you’d like to talk about (youth pastors HATE the mysterious ‘I need to meet you’ message w/ no agenda). Schedule a friendly face to face chat. Never storm into the youth office.

5) If they’re young, cut them some slack. If they’re older, cut them some slack. If they’re new…you get the idea.


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

3 responses to I’m a Parent; How Do I Get the YP to Listen?

  1. I love this…You are on spot here!!!

  2. Great word! There are so many more things that could be included!

    The youth ministry will only grow if Parents & Minister work together in unison, not against each other.

    Youth ministers are human too, they are subject to the same potential mistakes that you are where you work! (Bad decisions, judgement errors, bad pizza the night before) Remember Matt 7:12

    Youth ministers that have attended Bible college and have been in youth ministry more than just a couple of years are dedicated to this career path and make it their life’s work, chances are they already know or have analyzed your family dynamic and know where your child’s strengths and weakness are.

    Just my thoughts… I could go on but won’t!

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