Making discipleship easy for parents
Parent ministry is a topic of constant conversation in Student Ministry circles and the most common complaint I hear from Student Pastors is that they are having a hard time getting the parents of their students to engage in their ministry.
Inside the Lifeway building we keep several values forever in front of us, and one of those is “make it easy for her.” Since learning the advantage of filtering my work through this value, I have often applied it to parent ministry conversations. Parents of teenagers have busy lives and many of them feel like they are doing well just to remember where their kids are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be wearing from day to day. Although most parents would say that they desire to be better parents in one way or another, they would also say that would also love for someone to show them how and when they could fit that into their already crammed schedule!
If you have a history of reviewing dates and rates for this year’s upcoming events in parent meetings, you shouldn’t be surprised when only 5 parents come. They can get that information in an email and take back an hour of their life by not coming to your meeting and I don’t blame them.
When it comes down to parents choosing how to spend the few hours of each day that aren’t already accounted for, they will choose the things that add the most value to their life. So what do you do with this? You do the heavy lifting for them. This is not to say that you take on the parent role, that’s not your job. Your job is to help them be God-honoring parents, followers of Christ, and husbands and wives. This is all about discipleship.
Parents need you to have read the latest parenting books, or enlist someone else to do so, and give them the highlights. They need you to give them access to voices that they need to hear. They need you to map a plan for daily conversations that they can just glance at and run with. They need you to digest the culture around them and spit it back out to them in “teen speak”.
When parents see you putting in this kind of work and offering them true value, not just your humble opinion, they will jump on board with you. Remember, make it easy for them!