What might happen if we . . .
modeled for parents how to talk with students about faith matters?
trained parent volunteers in our vital ministry in ways that used their gifts?
looked for opportunities to help worried parents think through ways to handle the tempting terrain of internet, peers, drugs, sex, alcohol and more?
seized valuable chances to speak hope into parents who are trying to do their best and need a trusted advisor to encourage them?
prayed for divine appointments to influence whole families for Christ?
made it a point to learn from people in the trenches who know our students better than we do?
offered ideas that would augment the ministry of our carpool drivers, snack providers, prayer warriors, cheerleaders, and neighborhood evangelists?
evaluated our motives to make sure we aren’t worshipping our ministry to preteens instead of empowering the parents God put in charge of raising those students?
Some of us avoid ministering to parents, because we’ve found it to be messy and tough. Some parents need to give their students some space. Some parents don’t understand the vision God has given us. Some parents have big life issues that are causing problems both at home and at church. Some parents expect perfection while others really don’t seem to care what their preteens do.
On the other hand, however, some parents have a knack for talking with preteens. Some parents want to show you their gratitude by providing valuable support. Others are very willing to serve behind the scenes or offer their homes for your Bible study. Still others are willing to bring a carload of neighborhood students to your events. But most of all, they want to learn from you—to tap into the wisdom God has given you.
Just like our preteens, parents come in all shapes and maturity levels. However, all preteen parents need us to help them navigate the scary roads they see stretching out before them that lead to junior high and high school. So, we need to be as creative in reaching our parents as we are with reaching our preteens. Can we creatively communicate with our parents through text alerts and email blasts? Can we invite them to join their preteens for a 10-minute recap of the lesson at the end of Sunday services? Can we provide events where families attend and interact with each other in fun, encouraging ways? Can we provide parenting tips and glimpses into the preteen world? We can’t do everything, but what would happen if we tried just one thing?