Student ministry is interesting in that our ministry is not just to the teenagers. It is also to the parents. And one thing I’ve learned over the years is that parents really want to be informed. The more they are informed about the ministry, what is going on, and how we want to partner with them, the stronger our ministry will be. Instead of just teaching teens about Jesus, we are able to help strengthen the family.

With that in mind, here are three tips to keep parents informed about our ministry:

1. Create some regular communication paths.
Parents need to be hearing from youth pastors on a regular basis. Over the years, this has looked different for me, but parents have always appreciated the regularity of it. Not only does it keep them informed, it builds trust with them. They know their kids are in good hands, because we will come across trustworthy and prepared. If we never communicate, many parents will not feel comfortable with us taking care of their kids. So whether it is emails once or twice a month, social media posts or groups, text message alerts, or something else, let’s make sure we are regularly sending out information to parents.

2. Get your event calendar out out as early as possible.
Many (most?) parents are overwhelmed with all the things their kids are doing. Not only do they have their own lives, but they have to keep their kids in line too. One of the things I’ve found that really helps is to get our calendar of events to them as soon as possible. We should plan out camps and mission trips as early as we can, but we also need to get those dates into parents’ hands soon after they are locked in, so they can put them on the family calendar and plan around them. If we know what the next 3-6 months of ministry will look like (and we should), one of our next steps should be putting together a physical and/or digital calendar for our parents so they can plan accordingly.

3. Connect with them in person.
If we do not know the parents of our students, it’s time to change that, and it’s time to help our teams get to know them. The more we develop a relationship with a parent, the more they will want to read our regular communication, and the more we will know what’s going on in their family to better minister to them. And when we are regularly connecting with parents, they will naturally feel more informed. Further, we can also ask and learn even better ways to communicate with them (maybe none of them read emails, but they do prefer text). This will also help us structure what we are teaching, events we plan, etc., because we will know when many of our students are traveling or when several of them are struggling with a specific faith question.

Again, our ministry isn’t just to the teenagers; it’s to their parents as well. And the more we work on our communication with them and keep them informed about what we’re doing, the more we can strengthen that partnership with them. Partnership involves much more than just keeping parents informed, but communication is a great first step!

What methods have worked for you as you try to keep parents informed about your ministry? Let me know in the comments below!


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