It’s summertime and baseball state tournaments are wrapping up, so I thought we would keep fast and neat down the center this week with a trio of baseball analogies for parent ministry.
Here are three things that parents in and near your student ministry need from you this summer.
1. A first pitch. Get them into the game, coach!
You know where to start with discipleship because you are thinking about it all the time. You are planning weekly opportunities for students and training for leaders to ask great questions and guide discussions. But your parents need your help too!
Don’t neglect parents’ need for a first pitch to jump into the discipleship game. Many don’t value or understand how their time with their students can be used for intentional discipleship. Coach ‘em up!
Parent are already doing more than they know, they just need your reminder that they have started and the good work that they are doing is bending toward their students’ faith formation.
About a year ago, we sat down as a team to dream up ways we could help you give parents the tools they need to disciple their teenagers through everyday moments in family life. We listened to youth pastors across the country and tested and developed Parent Partner as an easy-to-use resource for student ministry leaders and the parents you shepherd. It’s student-pastor-proven to be the first pitch or jump start to communicating with parents on a disciple-making level.
But more than just a fresh weekly resource lobbed their way to start the game, they need you for all nine innings.
2. A Dugout. Create a space for them to watch, learn, and be encouraged.
If you do not have a regular space for parents to connect with other parents and you, you are are missing out on one of the single most effective ways to keep them engaged and encouraged.
Host fewer parent information meetings and more parent meetups. Buy coffee and snacks, print your summer schedule, offer younger children childcare, and create an inviting space for parents to share and connect with each other and you as minister.
Every good player needs a moment away from the game to watch the game, hear about the game from a coach, and receive encouragement from the assistant coach. Your parents do, too! Give them a same place to be seen and heard.
3. A Backstop. Be a fence!
Wild pitches happen. When they do, they need something to bump up against. It doesn’t happen all the time, but the backstop really matters when it is needed. It’s a visible reminder of support and also which way the game is facing. It is subtle but significant. The chainlink 3 panel fence helps everyone playing the game know which way to orient themselves.
Youth minister, be a backstop for your parents. Don’t just give them more information about what you have planned, be an anchor in the field of support and direction.
Like I mentioned before, Parent Partner is our first-pitch resource for you to set parents up for discipleship success, but you are the back stop of the monthly phone or weekly text to help shore up their efforts. We want to help you lob one in the right direction because we trust that you know how to keep the players in the right places and the game moving forward.
More and more, this year is teaching us we need you to not just provide resources but keep our students and their families focused on the right things.
You can check out more about Parent Partner below and set yourself up in a habit of providing, resourcing, and caring for the at home disciple makers this season.
This content was written by Zac Workun. Zac serves as the Student Ministry Training Specialist for Lifeway and is one of the co-founders of Youth Ministry Booster. He has served the local church in various youth ministry roles for over 15 years.