is your ministry friendly to parents? (part 3)
Today, we are finishing up our list of 10 ways to become a more family-friendly youth ministry.
7. RESOURCE THEM
Help your parents develop their parenting skills by pointing them toward good books, or websites or seminars that you've heard other parents talking about. Every parent wants to be pointed to a helpful idea. Also, figure out a way to offer a parenting class a few times a year. If you don't have teenagers, get someone else to teach it who is a seasoned parent (parents would rather learn tips from an experienced parent rather than a youth worker who has "theories" of parenting).
A word of caution: if you're not a parent of teenagers, be careful when offering any type of parenting advice.
8. WORK THE PARKING LOT
At the end of a program, go out to the parking lot and be visible to parents. Talk to them, build relationships, and give encouragement about their child. Don't worry, you can clean up the youth room after everyone has gone home (or create a team of teenagers to do it for you while you're out talking to parents). You only have a short window of time to be with parents, so use it wisely. Your ministry wins big when parents know they have regular and easy access to a youth leader. You don't want to be that invisible youth worker who kids talk about but their parents never see.
9. SUMMER CALENDAR
Parents plan vacation time a lot further out than many youth ministries plan their summer events. Work to nail down summer camp dates so you can let your parents know ASAP. You don't need to worry about all the details--dates are what is most important. You can create tension at home when parents want to vacation and kids want to go to the church summer camp--don't put parents in a bad spot.
10. OPEN THE DOOR FOR SERVING
Many parents can make great youth workers and they have a lot to offer the teenagers in your ministry. Every parent isn't a great fit for relational ministry, but they can make a big impact in the ministry through serving behind the scenes. Let your parents know about your ministry needs and you'll find that many would be eager to serve.