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youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, problem

The Real Problem with Parents

By Doug Franklin April 12, 2012

As youth workers our ministry focus is students but more and more we are being encouraged to add parents to that list. For the most part we are good with this because we think that means adding another parent meeting. But because we don’t know how to minister to parents we talk about the calendar and answer a few questions. Check off the parents, we are done. The truth is this isn’t ministering to parents. You have not taken the time to hear their concerns and fears. You haven’t offered any encouragement or care. Ministry means getting into their lives and helping them. The real problem with parents is we don’t know how to care for them. It’s hard to care for people who are older and in many circumstances are our employers. We’ve got to start shedding those concerns and start building strategies to reach parents. Consider the following:

Making a family ministry plan
Have you thought about sitting down with each family and offering to help build a spiritual development plan? Students can be a part of this meeting if parents are good with that. You would start by going over the spiritual needs of the whole family. You could coordinate with them topics at youth group, extra study material for mom or dad and plans for mentors that could help all of them grow. I know what you’re thinking …isn’t this the church’s job? Yes, but are they doing it and if they did would families care? You are in a unique position and parents are just desperate enough to take your help. Take advantage of this opportunity and reach out your students’ parents.

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