We hear a lot of talk today about partnering with parents but how do you do this if you have little exposure in the pulpit?
The best way to partner with parents is to get parents involved with the children’s ministry program.
In other words, use the kidmin program to disciple the parents.
I meet once a month with my small group leaders.
Sometimes I go around the room and ask each leader this question…
What are you getting out of your ministry experience?
The response I hear most frequently is, “This makes me a better parent.”
One day it dawned on me, I didn’t just start a small group ministry for kids. My small group ministry also is a parent ministry.
Our parent volunteers gained confidence that they could teach their own kids after teaching other people’s kids in our children’s ministry.
I even found that many of our parent volunteers took the small group curriculum home and taught their own kids.
How do you get parents involved?
First of all let’s talk about what doesn’t work:
- Bulletin announcements don’t work.
- Pulpit announcements don’t work.
- Begging doesn’t work.
- Guilt trips don’t work.
Three things that work well in getting parents involved.
1. Ask parents to get involved.
Most people need to be asked. It’s rare that someone walks up and says, “I want to get involved with the kids.”
I go after the new parents. Once their kids have attended for four weeks I target them. This is one way that I ask parents to get involved.
“I’ve noticed that your kids are good kids. They are well behaved and participate in service. I can tell that you are the kind of parents that I want to teach other people’s kids.”
Sixty percent say NO. That may not seem like good odds, but one hundred percent say NO if I don’t ask.
2. Ask parents to help with special events.
Many parents do not want to make long-term commitments, but they may get involved with an event like Kids Camp, VBS, or our Halloween Alternative.
This gives parents an opportunity to experience how fun our children’s ministry is.
During the event, I invite them to get involved in KidMin. I purposely delegate most tasks during these events so I can be free to recruit parents.
3. Plan a Parent Weekend.
This is an opportunity for kids to invite their parents to Kid’s Church and get exposed to our Kids Ministry.
The best time to do this is October or January.
You will want to spread Parent Weekend over the entire month of October so there is not a large group of adults missing from the sanctuary on any given Sunday.
The first Sunday in October is for parent of 1st graders. The second Sunday in October is for parents of 2nd graders and so on.
At the beginning of the service I ask the kids to bring their parents to the front of the room and introduce them.
We honor the parents and make a big deal out of the fact that they are attending Kids Church.
This also gets all the second graders thinking about inviting their parents next week.
Moms and Dads attend large group and small group with their child.
Toward the end of the service we invite all the parents for time of coffee and muffins and share our vision for their kids.
We also share with them the benefits of getting involved in kid’s ministry.
It’s the only ministry in the church where you can serve with your kids.
What kind of things do you do to get parents involved in the children’s ministry?
Share your ideas by commenting below.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.