Volunteer-4

3 Reminders About Partnering with Parents

Leadership / Parenting //

I love my job.  I really do.  But sometimes, in the busyness of making sure that a million details are covered, I can oftentimes forget that families in my church community walk through our church doors carrying some pretty heavy burdens.  I was reminded of that this past weekend.  One family is facing a health crisis while another family is adjusting to new, temporary living arrangements.

My heart breaks for these two precious families.  I wish I had the ‘right’ words to say, other than, “Tell me how I can pray for you.”  But it dawned on me…praying for these families is one of the greatest gifts I can give to these sweet families and the other families I serve.

“Partnering with parents” is a popular phrase tossed around in the kidmin world.  Google it – you’ll see more than 600,000 results!  You’ll see the phrase on websites, in vision and mission statements, listed in an organization’s core values, just to name a few.  But what does it really mean to partner with parents?

This past weekend, I was reminded that partnering with parents begins with a relationship.  Do you take the time to stop and chat with the families in your ministry during weekend services?  Are you even available to make this happen?  Position yourself in visible places in your children’s areas to get to know your families.  Listen to them – really listen.  What are they saying?  What are they NOT saying?

Partnering with parents means regularly communicating with them.  Has a child or family missed several weeks of church?  Has someone been sick?  Is someone dealing with an extended time of crisis – unemployment, illness, new living situation?  Reach out to them with a phone call, email, note in the mail, or text message.  Meet them for coffee.

Partnering with parents means coming alongside them in prayer.  When you say you’ll pray for someone, mean it – then do it.  Pray for them specifically by name.  Then follow-up with them.  I have begun to add this to our weekly staff meeting agenda.  It’s that serious.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways a kidmin can partner with parents.  But think about it.

Build relationships.

Regularly communicate with them.

Pray with them (and for them).

Keep the conversation going by adding your two cents!  What ways do you effectively partner with parents?

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About the Author

Kathie Phillips is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Married to Lance and mom to Daniel and Kennedy, Kathie shares practical tips and inspiration for kidmin leaders, volunteers and families each week on her blog, KidMinspiration.com.