3 Ways to Connect with Parents
We spend the vast majority of our time thinking about and focusing on the children in our ministry – which makes sense! We are, after all, in children’s ministry.
But the reality is that we get far less time with our children than their parents do. So, while we should absolutely be doing everything we can to reach and serve children, we would be doing them a disservice if we didn’t also work to reach and serve their parents.
Here are three simple ways that you can connect with parents and help equip them to spiritually lead their children at home.
1. Be at the Door During Drop-Off and Pick-Up
The beginning and end of a service can feel crazy as kids are flooding in or out. But
both are a prime opportunity to connect with parents personally. The purpose here
is not so much to equip or serve as it is to connect. The better you get to know your
families, the better you’ll be able to equip and serve them.
Make it a point to be at the door and to talk with parents. Ask how you could be
praying for their family – and don’t forget to actually pray for them. Consider even
getting a simple business card printed with your phone number or email address
and let them know you’re available if there’s any way you can serve their family.
Depending upon the size of your church, connecting with parents at the door may
feel overwhelming. You may be tasked during drop-off and pick-up. If that’s the
case, do everything you can to find volunteers who can help free you up during
those times. You may just have more families than you could possibly talk with on
any given weekend. That’s okay. You don’t have to connect with everyone every
weekend. Make it a point to connect with one or two families every service.
2. Text or Call During the Week
Initiating conversations on the weekends is vitally important. But just as important
is the follow-up.
I was talking with a friend recently who has a son with special needs. They began
working with an organization that helps special needs adults find jobs and get
acclimated to the role. This friend’s son found a job at a local grocery story and after
working for two weeks, their contact at this organization called to find out how he
was doing. My friend kept waiting for the woman to turn the corner and say, “What I
was really calling to talk about was…” But that turn never came. She just wanted to
see how her son was doing and ask if there was any other way she could serve
them. That meant the world to my friend. It went a long way in building trust. She
felt like she and her son were really loved by this woman – that they weren’t just
another anonymous “case” to be handled and then forgotten. That’s how we want
our families to feel loved by us.
Write down everyone you connected with on Sunday and make it a point to text or
call those families the following week. There doesn’t need to be any agenda beyond
getting to know them better. If they asked for prayer, follow up on that prayer. If
they shared good news or bad news, follow up on that news.
3. Send Out a Weekly Email
Take time to send a mid-week email to your families. Let them know what their
children learned or will be learning the next weekend. Provide discussion questions
they can ask their kids throughout the week. Consider attaching the take home
guide their children received that Sunday.
The benefit of a mid-week email is that it serves to remind parents to have spiritual
conversations with their children throughout the week – not just on the drive home
NOTE: Shameless plug. GO+ actually provides an email template, discussion
questions, and an at-home activity designed for families to do together. If you’re
using GO! Curriculum but haven’t checked out how GO+ could serve as an asset to
what you’re already doing, GO check it out!
There are so many different things vying for our time. We have lessons to plan, supplies to order, volunteers to recruit, and services to pull off. It’s easy to let personal connections slip.
But if we really want to serve children, we should be the biggest fans and advocates of the greatest influence in their lives – their parents.