I love that more and more Children’s Ministries are working to help parents be more successful at home. As a pastor who is a new parent I get the need for the church and the home to work better together. But sometimes we don’t always know what it means to be family friendly. What does it really mean to “partner with parents”? What is it that parents really need from us?
While this isn’t mean to be an exhaustive list here are three things I know EVERY parent needs from your Children’s Ministry:
Parents want to know what’s going on in your children’s ministry. Things like when to register for summer camp, when your VBS is happening, how to get involved in your mid-week program, how to get their child baptized, etc. are critical. Having these dates out there ahead of time helps busy families make what you’re doing more of a priority.
One of the biggest ways we can help parents is by letting them know what’s out there for them. Maybe it’s a parenting class your church puts on twice a year. Or a marriage retreat in your area’s local camp site. Or a really great book, blog, and/or podcast that’s been helping your marriage and parenting. Keep a list of these different resources in a handy place that you can pull out when parents need help. Find a way to promote these in your newsletter, website, and social media sites.
Care is often expressed in the little moments as well as the big moments of life. Remembering a child’s birthday, sending a card to congratulate a wedding anniversary, a text to let a parent know you were praying for them, delivering a meal during an illness, or showing up during a crisis. All of these ways let families know you are for them.
No Children’s Ministry gets these things perfect all the time. But the more we work to communicate, resource, and care for the whole family the better off everyone will be.