3 Ways To Better Connect With Parents

Bryant Westbrook
September 7th, 2021

Parents are one of the greatest allies we have for the ministries we lead. It’s incredibly important that we have healthy connections with our parents because not only do they spend the most time with the students we lead, they hold the most influence with them.

Creating partnerships with parents goes a long way and they greatly appreciate any effort to include them in the ministry. Chances are, by not including parents we miss out on an entire aspect of ministry that could shape our ministries for the better. Here are 3 ways we can all be better at connecting with our student’s parents.

Monthly Parent Emails 

I know this one may sound like it won’t make a ton of impact, but if you’re not currently doing this, it’s something to highly consider. This practice is one that gives parents an opportunity to see what their student is being taught.

How it works is you send a monthly email with an outlined teaching schedule (this doesn’t have to be super detailed). All it needs is a series title and the weekly message main ideas in bullet points. Also, you could insert some follow up questions below the weekly main idea for the parent to ask their student which can help foster conversations.

When I started sending out my monthly teaching topics it equipped my parents to have better conversations with their students and that’s a win. I had parents telling me that it not only helped them know what was happening with the teaching schedule, It also gave them a heads up if we were going to be talking about dating, relationships or other sensitive topics. They’d rather know than be surprised by their student telling them when they get home. You can also add stories of how God is changing students’ lives through the ministry in these emails.

Small Group Leader Connection

This is one I’m learning a lot more about in my journey. From what I’ve experienced so far, this practice is extremely effective. I encourage my small group leaders to get to know the parents, even spend time with them, outside of the regular ministry time. 

The goal is for the small group leader to be the one building relationships that last. There are great benefits to such relationships. Communication improves because you can let information flow through the small group leader to the parents. Change is easier. The stronger the relationship the better and the easier it’ll be to navigate change. 

I try to think about these relationships like this, I would rather a student and their parents being way more excited to come every single week excited to see Rachel the small group leader than they are to see me. That’s a huge win!

Parent Roles

Don’t underestimate the value of having parents involved in the ministry. One way to make the most of parent involvement is to give them some roles. 

Gather parents that are invested and ready to serve and ask them for help. Giving parents some responsibility is a good thing and most of them appreciate the ask. I’ve found the more I fight to include and not exclude parents, the better my ministry to students is.

I guarantee you that you’ve got some parents that would love to serve.  They just need to be asked to help.  They are prepared to  help come up with event ideas, help you generate leads for volunteers, help write those parent emails, host a small group at their home, or even be willing to be drivers for the ministry. Parents have some great ideas and often just need to be asked to lead.

Bryant Westbrook

Bryant is currently part of the Next Generation staff at Pathway Church in Wichita, KS. Bryant has served as a missionary in Alaska, program staff for youthworks, youth pastor and has a passion for student leadership. He blogs regularly at bryantwestbrook.com and his contact information is bryant.westbrook@pathwaychurch.com

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.