youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, parents

Changing our Mindset on Parents

By Doug Franklin March 10, 2011

Many of us in youth ministry still don’t get the importance of parents. We think we are doing an important job of helping students grow in their faith and parents should get out of our way. This thinking will not work. We have to be serious about partnering with parents. I know many youth workers avoid parents because we want to avoid confrontation but this again is the wrong thinking. We need to get out ahead of parents and ask them for partnership. We have to solicit their input and implement their ideas. By doing so we will form a partnership with them and have the best chance of reaching students. A parent and a youth worker in partnership is a powerful tool in God’s hands. To form partnerships with parents consider the following:

1. Help Parents
Hold parent meetings with an expert in parenting. Ask a member of your congregation to give a workshop on one aspect of parenting that would add value to your parents.

2. Build Parental Networks
Put parents together for the benefit of helping each other. Many parents are facing the same issues but they aren’t connected. If you connect them, they will see that you care about them and this will be a big help to parents.

3. Customize the Youth Ministry
Ask each parent, “what do you want to see happen in your student’s spiritual life?” Then work together to see it happen. Parents will be grateful someone has the same concern they do and they will want to work with you to reach their student.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More