Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from Jim Hancock’s presentation at the CYMT Summit—Equipping Parents for Spiritual Leadership in May 2012. Jim is the author of numerous youth ministry books and resources including Raising Adults.
For most youth ministers, the idea of collaborating with parents is a good idea…well, it’s a nice idea, but there are sometimes problems with the implementation. The obvious solution for collaborating with parents is to create a youth committee. But what would it be like if parents believed we were partners?
Here are seven ways that we can work with parents and parents can work with youthworkers:
If something doesn’t seem right with a kid, check discreetly with his parents. Likewise, when you catch a teenager in the act of doing something right, don’t keep it to yourself!
Be aware and help make parents aware of teenage issues and concerns in the community. Bullying, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, a teen suicide, alcohol, and drug usage are issues that parents and youth ministers should work on together.
Need help getting into the school, getting to know local officials like the juvenile judge or police officers, getting to know coaches or teachers? Parents can help you network by introducing you to people you need to know.
Parents can interpret what you are doing to your bosses and other parents. Not only can they, they will. Parents can help you get the support you need both inside and outside the church.
Sooner or later you’re going to need temporary shelter for a person in crisis. Your relationships with parents will make this possible.
Describe your plans to trusted parents. Ask them, “What am I missing?” Take good notes, because if you can’t convince them, think again.
We can teach or remind parents about what happens in the adolescent life stage. Parents can teach us what it is like to unconditionally love another. Read this article on teaching parents (need link).
What are your hopes and fears about engaging parents? How are you collaborating with parents? Have you developed ministry with parents?
As you continue to explore ministry with parents, we think that working through our Parenting Ministry Training Module would be helpful to you and your ministry.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.