The Real Reason Parents Don’t Know What’s Going On In Your Ministry

Every felt like the parents at your church just don’t get it? I have.

A few months ago I had a concerned (and frustrated) parent ask me about the details of a particular event. After I told him what he wanted to know he asked me why he had to track me down to get a straight answer. I said we had been sending flyers home about it for weeks. His response was illuminating:

“I get so many flyers from the Kids’ Ministry I never know where to start. Honestly, a lot of times it just feels like junk mail. Nobody likes junk mail, Jeff.”

His words were pretty harsh, but he was right:

Our ministry was handing out so much stuff, parents didn’t no where to begin.

So he did nothing and, as a result, knew nothing. I promised myself I was going to do something about it. Later that night I came across this post that has inspired our current plan to communicate to parents:

Here’s the idea in a nutshell: create a weekly 1 page handout for parents that lets them know everything that is going on at church for their kids. It’s short, simple, and to the point.

We hand this out every weekend and post it on our blog every Monday (so postage is never an issue). It tells them what their kids learned, what events are happening, a helpful resource, and how to get a hold of us. We’ve been doing it for a while and our parents are loving it.

There are other things we do to communicate with parents (like Facebook, Twitter, Conferences, etc.) but they are all touched on in the handout. Parents can get what they need, when they need it, and how they want it.

Most parents seem to still like getting information on paper. I’m not a big fan of paper, but I’ll do what works for them if that’s what it takes to get the message across.

Question:
How can your church streamline communication with parents?

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5 comments

  1. Jeff, this is great! Thanks. I’ve been doing monthly emails and we hand out the weekly “take-home” along with maybe another flyer or ministry promo each week. It has to be a lot, and frankly I don’t know how many parents even take the papers anymore. I’ll be talking with my parents about this now!

  2. Always a tough tension to manage! Paper or no paper? Email? Newsletters? I’m still trying to figure out the best method of communication. Currently, I’m using a monthly newsletter from Group that I rewrite, a blog for parents where I do a video update every Tuesday and an emailer out for volunteers from http://www.mailchimp.com. I’m finding that the parents that want to know, will know and the ones who don’t will choose to remain out of the loop.

    1. I hear ya Stafford. I’m not a paper guy, but the parents at our church are. So I keep using it. “Run with the runners” has really freed me to do more pastoring to people that want it and a lot less chasing after people that aren’t interested.

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