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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com



Let’s look at the WHAT and HOW to communicate to parents

FROM: YOUTH LEADER CONNECTION / "MIKE THE MECHANIC"

WHAT TO COMMUNICATE TO PARENTS

1. Communicate your philosophy of ministry. Why does your youth ministry exist??? Show your desire and plan to be a family-friendly, God-centered ministry.

2. Communicate an attitude of support.
* Listen to them.
* Honor their convictions.
* Respect their budget.
* Give parenting "tips" (articles,etc.)
* Compliment them-to their face and to their teen.
* Turn teens to their parents-consistently ask the question:"What do your parents think?"
* Be accessible.

3. Communicate information. (see below for some ideas from Todd about this). By the way, do you "group e-mail" your parents? It's quick and effective!

4. Communicate professionalism. Take your responsibility seriously-be trustworthy, reliable, and organized.

5. Communicate a personal interest in them. Spend time building relationships with them. (Consider having a fellowship with just them and your youth workers.)

HOW TO COMMUNICATE TO PARENTS

As Todd wrote in an earlier GROUP Magazine article on this very topic, most youth leaders "simply respond to questions about their youth ministry. But the key to maximum communication is to anticipate questions." This is the key to developing your own communication network with parents. And that's exactly what you've got to try and create: Your very own, personalized, communication network.

Here are some ways to accomplish this:

1. "Parent's Update"
Write a monthly letter to your kids' parents titled "Parent's Update." In it, I give them more than just activity details; communicate your youth ministry vision. Sure, go over curriculum, future plans, needs, coming events, and past successes. But the real priority is to give them your heart and soul. One church in Georgia that did this experienced a 41 percent attendance increase at their Parent/Teenager Get-Togethers.

2. Ministries Guide
A quarterly ministry guide is designed to look like a store catalog, providing general information about upcoming events and activities. Mail your guide directly to homes and insert it into your visitor packets. This communicates future plans, and future plans create present excitement.

3. Parent/Teenager Get-Together
Periodic parent/teen get-togethers are not particularly innovative, but they're remarkably effective. Play interactive games, serve mystery foods, and do other fun stuff to pique kids' and parents' interest. But the bottom line of a parent/teen get-together is two-way talk! If you'll highlight your question-and-answer time in your promo, it'll be evident that parents have a voice. Give them that chance in a lively, open forum after the games, food, and skits.

4. Parent's Page
Produce a small, two-column "teaser" to insert in your church's worship folder or bulletin, or even your own newsletter, but make this strictly for parents. Stuff it full of short, how-to articles, helpful parenting hints, school news, and community service information.

Of course, all of these ideas and documents can be digitally produced as well as printed in a hard copy style, so either e-mail or snail mail everything to parents' homes except your monthly calendar and weekly inserts. Chunk the "make-sure-this-gets-home-to-your-parents" philosophy. Your network needs to ensure accurate delivery.

>>ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
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