Family Ministry: Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry | Plus a Giveaway!

We believe that one of the biggest shifts in Youth Ministry 3.0 (to borrow a term from MarkO) from Youth Ministry 2.0 is the intentional Partnering with Parents. It’s not that Youth Workers never worked with Parents, its just that there have been some major, major shifts to more Family Driven Youth Ministry (and Children’s Ministry) over the last several years.

But what does it mean to Partner with Parents in Youth Ministry? The definitions we hear over what Family Ministry means range all over the place, from completely inter-generational worship services, to using great kids ministry programs to draw in the parents, and everything in between.

So today, we don’t want to hear what you think Family Ministry is, your philosophy behind Family Ministry, but we want to know:

“What are you actually doing about it?” Right now, this year, this past year, what did you do to partner with Parents in your Youth Ministry?

Leave a comment below and this Friday We will choose a Random winner using Random.org to win a “Family Ministry Prize Package” including:

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So get to it!

 Contgratulations to Comment Number 6! Brendan Wilkes, we will be in touch shortly!

42 Comments

  1. We are going to have 2 meetings/training session with the parents throughout the year. For our rising 7th grade retreat we had a parent only session that seemed to go over really well. I try to email the parents at least once a month and in the fall will be emailing them a ParentLink, which is a great publication if you are not familiar with them. We will be looking for other ways to partner with them through their own SS class, email updates, activities, and someday hopefully we will be able to have a short seminar for them.
  2. We are going to have 2 meetings/training session with the parents throughout the year. For our rising 7th grade retreat we had a parent only session that seemed to go over really well. I try to email the parents at least once a month and in the fall will be emailing them a ParentLink, which is a great publication if you are not familiar with them. We will be looking for other ways to partner with them through their own SS class, email updates, activities, and someday hopefully we will be able to have a short seminar for them.
  3. I have honestly had the biggest struggle with getting parents involved. We almost had to cancel two trips this summer due to no parents wanting to chaperone. The church I serve is just very comfortable with the way things are done, and that is to do nothing.
  4. I have honestly had the biggest struggle with getting parents involved. We almost had to cancel two trips this summer due to no parents wanting to chaperone. The church I serve is just very comfortable with the way things are done, and that is to do nothing.
  5. For the ministry that I lead, parents are the front lines of communication. I plan a meeting just about every 6-8 weeks to evaluate the student ministry and get feedback from them because they will mostly talk to their parents and the insight that I have gained from the parents has really helped me in planning how we do ministry to best serve the students. Also, it give me the time to speak vision and purpose behind our ministry to the parents who bring their students to me. In the next year, I am hoping to have events that the parents come to with their students whether that is coming to a Wednesday night service or even a day trip centered around service or just to have fun so that it gives another opportunity for the parents and students to connect and build family ministry while the students are in the student ministry.
    • That sounds like a lot of meetings but also a great investment into the parents lives, do you have good attendance of non-church families at those? What do you do to try and draw them in?
      • It is a good bit of meetings, but since I am just getting started in ministry the parents have been an invaluable resource. I would say that probably 70% of parents both non-church and church families attend. I just make sure to over-communicate when the meeting is and what we will be talked about.
  6. For the ministry that I lead, parents are the front lines of communication. I plan a meeting just about every 6-8 weeks to evaluate the student ministry and get feedback from them because they will mostly talk to their parents and the insight that I have gained from the parents has really helped me in planning how we do ministry to best serve the students. Also, it give me the time to speak vision and purpose behind our ministry to the parents who bring their students to me. In the next year, I am hoping to have events that the parents come to with their students whether that is coming to a Wednesday night service or even a day trip centered around service or just to have fun so that it gives another opportunity for the parents and students to connect and build family ministry while the students are in the student ministry.
    • That sounds like a lot of meetings but also a great investment into the parents lives, do you have good attendance of non-church families at those? What do you do to try and draw them in?
      • It is a good bit of meetings, but since I am just getting started in ministry the parents have been an invaluable resource. I would say that probably 70% of parents both non-church and church families attend. I just make sure to over-communicate when the meeting is and what we will be talked about.
  7. I'm a volunteer in our church's youth ministry, and our youth pastor just had a general "all parents invited" meeting yesterday after the service... the first I can ever recall for YEARS. It's easy to stay in touch with a few "key" families, but connecting with those parents who don't attend, or with those families that are always on the run, can be tricky. We're also investing some resources (time and money) into learning how to find the best pieces of tech to make it simple and quick to stay connected. Again, it's easy to stay connected with the 20%, but it's the 80% that are lonely, lost, and hurting that are prime opportunities for ministry.
      • Well, we are doing a number of outreach things with the community, with limited success. The one "out of the box" thing we're trying is a tech piece that I'm building (disclaimer: and one day hoping to make a buck from) that allows us to safely text our teens words of encouragement and announcements throughout the week. The uniqueness of our tool is that it gets parental consent at the very beginning and provides a layer of accountability by emailing parents once a week with all text messages sent. This also (as an intended side effect) brings those parents into the conversation, either passively by simply seeing the communication we're having with their kids, or actively by engaging themselves IN that conversation and allowing us to come alongside them as we equip and minister to their kids. I'd love to share more but the sake of not sounding like an advertisement, won't. We're getting some great feedback, though, so I'm excited to see where it takes us.
  8. I'm a volunteer in our church's youth ministry, and our youth pastor just had a general "all parents invited" meeting yesterday after the service... the first I can ever recall for YEARS. It's easy to stay in touch with a few "key" families, but connecting with those parents who don't attend, or with those families that are always on the run, can be tricky. We're also investing some resources (time and money) into learning how to find the best pieces of tech to make it simple and quick to stay connected. Again, it's easy to stay connected with the 20%, but it's the 80% that are lonely, lost, and hurting that are prime opportunities for ministry.
      • Well, we are doing a number of outreach things with the community, with limited success. The one "out of the box" thing we're trying is a tech piece that I'm building (disclaimer: and one day hoping to make a buck from) that allows us to safely text our teens words of encouragement and announcements throughout the week. The uniqueness of our tool is that it gets parental consent at the very beginning and provides a layer of accountability by emailing parents once a week with all text messages sent. This also (as an intended side effect) brings those parents into the conversation, either passively by simply seeing the communication we're having with their kids, or actively by engaging themselves IN that conversation and allowing us to come alongside them as we equip and minister to their kids. I'd love to share more but the sake of not sounding like an advertisement, won't. We're getting some great feedback, though, so I'm excited to see where it takes us.
  9. We try to inform and educate parents in the world of their teenagers. For instance, we often will publish articles written by leading experts on adolescence or practical application on ministry at home. Parents appreciate these little nuggets of help. We also try to have mostly parents on our ministry team. They are in tune with their kids and with what their kids need.
  10. We try to inform and educate parents in the world of their teenagers. For instance, we often will publish articles written by leading experts on adolescence or practical application on ministry at home. Parents appreciate these little nuggets of help. We also try to have mostly parents on our ministry team. They are in tune with their kids and with what their kids need.
  11. When I started as Director of Children and Youth Ministry almost a year ago at my current church, the children were all leaving worship after the children's moment and any youth in attendance were following along as helpers (which involved tasks such as hand out the crayons and help the children put stickers in their booklets) Since then, we have educated the older kids and youth about the elements of worship and are now expecting them to stay in worship with their families. A user-friendly bulletin, based on the service is also available to teach kids and parents about the worship service. Youth are also beginning to become worship leaders, working the sound system, reading scripture, etc. We are also instigating a new Sunday School next month in which children, youth and parents will be studying the same scripture each week, based on the lectionary. Some weeks all ages will be studying together. We are hoping this well encourage dialogue at home about scripture and worship.
  12. When I started as Director of Children and Youth Ministry almost a year ago at my current church, the children were all leaving worship after the children's moment and any youth in attendance were following along as helpers (which involved tasks such as hand out the crayons and help the children put stickers in their booklets) Since then, we have educated the older kids and youth about the elements of worship and are now expecting them to stay in worship with their families. A user-friendly bulletin, based on the service is also available to teach kids and parents about the worship service. Youth are also beginning to become worship leaders, working the sound system, reading scripture, etc. We are also instigating a new Sunday School next month in which children, youth and parents will be studying the same scripture each week, based on the lectionary. Some weeks all ages will be studying together. We are hoping this well encourage dialogue at home about scripture and worship.
  13. We do a number of things, but they mostly revolve around communication. I'm not sure it's practical or healthy to have parents attending every event / lesson / activity / regular program that you do. But it's important to let parents know exactly what your goals are, your calendar, your purposes, your regular programs, and ways that they can find information quickly about your ministry. We do a Family Fall Kickoff, where we have a cookout, and then give parents the Fall Packet and calendars, intro the youth leaders, and communicate our goals and vision for our ministry. It's been one of the best moves we have made.
    • We usually dont let parents attend regular Youth Services but we love for them to come as volunteers. Were doing a fall kick off dinner with small group leaders, hoping it works out as well as your BBQ.
  14. We do a number of things, but they mostly revolve around communication. I'm not sure it's practical or healthy to have parents attending every event / lesson / activity / regular program that you do. But it's important to let parents know exactly what your goals are, your calendar, your purposes, your regular programs, and ways that they can find information quickly about your ministry. We do a Family Fall Kickoff, where we have a cookout, and then give parents the Fall Packet and calendars, intro the youth leaders, and communicate our goals and vision for our ministry. It's been one of the best moves we have made.
    • We usually dont let parents attend regular Youth Services but we love for them to come as volunteers. Were doing a fall kick off dinner with small group leaders, hoping it works out as well as your BBQ.
  15. This year I am setting up a website strictly for my parents and will update it and provide them with resources, devotionals, table talk (based on youth group messages), etc. Just another way to reach out the my parents. I may even post videos to the page.
  16. This year I am setting up a website strictly for my parents and will update it and provide them with resources, devotionals, table talk (based on youth group messages), etc. Just another way to reach out the my parents. I may even post videos to the page.
  17. We are just getting on the "family ministry" boat. I have not done much with parents, no doubt to the detriment of my ministry. Working on getting better.
  18. We are just getting on the "family ministry" boat. I have not done much with parents, no doubt to the detriment of my ministry. Working on getting better.
  19. We're making a list of resources for parents to check out. If I could afford it, I would love to buy all the parents a book that we could go through and study together, but our budget cant quite do that, and if the parents had to buy the book, I dont know if many would show up.
  20. We're making a list of resources for parents to check out. If I could afford it, I would love to buy all the parents a book that we could go through and study together, but our budget cant quite do that, and if the parents had to buy the book, I dont know if many would show up.
  21. This past year I was in my church and in my first official student pastor role. Before me, the student ministry never partnered with parents so this idea I brought to the table about partnering with parents was new to them. I started with provided a parent newsletter that includes a calendar of the month, a sneak peak at what we were teaching their students, and resources to help them be a Godly parents. On the side, I also tried to connect relationally with each parents and spend time with the whole family.
  22. This past year I was in my church and in my first official student pastor role. Before me, the student ministry never partnered with parents so this idea I brought to the table about partnering with parents was new to them. I started with provided a parent newsletter that includes a calendar of the month, a sneak peak at what we were teaching their students, and resources to help them be a Godly parents. On the side, I also tried to connect relationally with each parents and spend time with the whole family.
  23. A few days before a youth ministry event I email out 3-4 questions pertaining to the topic we'll be covering that night, so when parents pick up their kids kids it's not "What did you talk about tonight?" "I dunno." They can have a better connection to what their chlidren are learning, discussing, etc.
  24. A few days before a youth ministry event I email out 3-4 questions pertaining to the topic we'll be covering that night, so when parents pick up their kids kids it's not "What did you talk about tonight?" "I dunno." They can have a better connection to what their chlidren are learning, discussing, etc.

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