How to Engage the Parents of Your Students

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Countless factors can cause friction between parents and the youth workers who lead their children.  Josh Griffin speaks from his 15 years serving in youth ministry about how to avoid three common mistakes that alienate the parents of students in a youth ministry.

Josh listed three ways to quickly lose the support of parents:

  1. Keep them in the dark
  2. Don’t return their phone calls
  3. Keep the spiritual growth of their children a mystery to them

How have you experienced tension with a parent of one of your students due to a lack of communication? How did that situation work out? Consider how you currently communicate with parents. In what ways do you communicate well? How could your communication improve?
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Josh mentioned he has a policy to return parents’ phone calls within twenty-four hours. He also stresses the importance of calling-back instead of replying with a text message or email. Is this an area of strength or weakness for you? What are some practical steps to make sure parents know that their questions and concerns are important to you?
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Josh described a breakfast that he hosts to connect parents with youth workers, enabling them to discuss the spiritual growth of their students. Are you proactive in engaging parents about the spiritual growth of your students? How might you better ensure that parents feel connected to the spiritual formation of their children?
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We never intend to lose the support of the parents of our students. It generally happens when we fail to make active communication with them a priority. Actively communicating about upcoming events, returning calls and emails in a timely manner, and purposeful dialogue about student’s spiritual growth help keep parents engaged and onboard with your ministry.