50 ways to connect to families of youth
Mega-list of ideas for youth and children's leaders.
As leaders in Christian ministry we do not replace the role of the parent, but work in partnership. We need to provide Gospel centred programs that are appropriate to the age and development of the children and young people in our care, whilst being mindful of the need to encourage parents and the broader church family to recognize the importance of their role. We want to support Christian parenting and lead non-Christian parents to Christ.
We want to bridge the gap between the role of the parents and the programs that we run so that our young people can grow in Christ and so the whole community of Christians can be built up.
Here are some ideas:
1. Organise for parents to meet the leaders.
2. Run parenting courses for the age group of your kids’ group.
3. Make a copy of the program available to parents.
4. Send memory verses home for parents to work on with their children.
5. Provide resource suggestions to parents.
6. Provide children’s Bible suggestions to parents.
7. Provide suggestions for online resources.
8. Direct parents to great talks, such as Ian Fry talks (available through Youthworks).
9. Organise an afternoon tea where parents meet other parents.
10. Arrange for the Rector to meet parents.
11. Make a prayer list available.
12. Publish a newsletter for kid’s ministry.
13. Have the kids produce newsletter material (maintain editorial).
14. Organise kid’s spots in church.
15. Have children do Bible readings or prayers.
16. Discuss with the rector the concept of all-age services.
17. Run a family fun night.
18. Have the children create a report on the program: written in a newsletter, or verbal in a church service.
19. Interview an SRE teacher in a service.
20. Have a presence at parent/teacher night. Have SRE teachers available to answer questions.
21. Provide a display on parent/teacher night of SRE work.
22. Have an SRE representative available for kindy orientation.
23. Provide coffee and slice at sign-in for kids club.
24. Arrange for someone to look after/chat with parents at holiday club.
25. Have some Christian parents meeting non-Christian parents in your programs.
26. Have the leaders of your kids program seeking to give feedback to parents on how their child is going in your program. (Especially any achievements they have made or interesting questions they have asked).
27. Seek to invite new parents to Christianity explained courses.
28. Organise coffee‘n’chat at Youth group pick up time.
29. Have a parents open day/night to present work done that term/year.
30. Invite families of the youth group to church picnics and weekends away.
31. Ask parents to visit your group to share their testimony, a special skill, or give a talk, etc.
32. Have 24 hours of prayer for children’s/ youth ministry (done in teams for blocks of time).
33. Have the youth/children’s group run a service.
34. Have a performance in a church service, at school or in a community hall or at a community event.
35. Ask parents to help with morning/afternoon tea or supper and/or help clean up.
36. Ask parents what they would like included in the curriculum.
37. Advertise church events in the schools newsletters (beware: you may need to pay).
38. Use significant events in the year as a platform for presentation.
39. Use significant events in the year as material for your program.
40. Have a dinner for the parents cooked by the kids.
41. Have youth group celebration times and invite families.
42. Send a card/ letter/ birthday card to children in your ministry.
43. Ask the kids how they would like to involve their parents.
44. Visit the children from your church group in their home, especially if they have been away for a time, maybe bring an inexpensive gift (Remember safe ministry- build relationship with the whole family not just the child).
45. Get involved in school fundraising events e.g. have a stall at their school fete.
46. Have a presence in the school community. They are frequently seeking volunteers.
47. Go doorknocking to invite local families to your church.
48. Give kids invitations to church events, to give to their friends.
49. Invite parents to be extra helpers at excursions/ outings—e.g rock climbing (great chance for conversations).
50. Ask parents what their concerns are about raising their children and seek to address these in church programs.
So many options! May God bless your ministry with children and young people.