youth ministry, youth worker, parents

Engaging Parents

By Doug Franklin November 5, 2009

Ever hold a parents meeting and very few parents come? I used to think it was good that no one came because it meant parents were happy with the job I was doing. Now I think it’s a shame that parents don’t come because it would be a great opportunity to serve them. The problem is most parents don’t come because it’s just another calendar meeting. Basically they know all you’ll do is go through the next few months of events, ask a couple of non-important questions, then send them on their way. We’re great at calendar meetings within youth ministry. We do them with our staff and announcements at youth group revolve around them. (We love filling the calendar because it makes it seem like we are busy).

If we want to engage parents we must make our parents meetings about more than calendar. Here is one idea. Pick four topics you know parents are struggling with. Put a banner in each corner of the room you are having the parents meeting in with the topic on it. Spend five minutes on calendar then ask parents to go to a corner of the room with the topic they are most struggling with. Have an appointed parent be the facilitator in each corner and let the parents talk. Some will talk about their problems while others will share what has worked and what has not. Parents will come to understand that they are not alone and can begin to support each other. You might even hear, “good meeting” from some of the parents. And trust me, more will show up for the next one if you connect them with each other.

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