Small groups are vital to help students grow in their faith. Recently, xp3 highlighted a blog I wrote on small groups. If you haven't checked out xp3 and the Orange strategy for family ministry, please check it out! It is one of the best approaches to helping partner with parents in raising students who love Jesus!
It is vital for the student ministry to walk alongside and encourage parents in the spiritual growth of their family. Student ministry is not a replacement for the spiritual growth of the family. It is simply a partnership. Two influences are greater than one! I'm always trying to find more creative ways to help connect what we are teaching at Source to be continued in the home with their parents. You can never over-communicate!
Here are a few ways I have tried to connect with parents:
1. ParentLink - It is a tool I is helpful for informing and encouraging parents. We include a one-page calendar with upcoming events, info and message series. You can sign up at the ParentLink website! Here is an example of the most recent The Parent Link Newsletter June 2012
2. Texting - Parents use texting just as much as students. Texting is the fastest way to communicate! We use SimplyTXT. It is an easy tool to use!
3. Email/Social Networking - It is crucial to utilize Facebook/Twitter as important avenues to communicate. Highlighting events and info on a weekly basis is a great way to keep parents informed. I prefer Facebook pages over groups because it is easier to join. Facebook groups are better for small group leaders.
3. Drive it home cards - We just finished (Thanks to Jared's creative genius) creating drive it home cards as a resource for the home. We want to drive home the teaching to the parents and give them help leading their own students spiritually. It is three questions they ask each other and one challenge to do together that week!
4. Surveys - I recently sent out a parent survey to find out more about each family. It was easy to create and collect the data. I used survey monkey. It is a free online questionnaire/survey. All you have to do is input the questions, create it and send it out. You can share it multiple ways!
I asked these 4 questions:
(1) What day/night of the week do you set aside for family time?
(2) What days/nights of the week is your student(s) involved in extra curricular activities?
(3) What is your student(s) curfew during a school week?
(4) Is it easier to attend a Source Student Ministry event during the week or weekend?
(5) Do you have any comments or suggestions on how we can partner with you as a family?
How else do you connect with parents? What ideas do you have to help partner with parents?
Below are a few helpful websites and blogs I use on a regular basis. Check them out! Creation Swap - Amazing logos, slides and creative ideas!
Source4YouthMinistry - Great resource for everything student ministry!
Open Lifechurch.tv - LifeChurch shares great resources for the entire church!
Youth Ministry Garage - A place to share questions and answers with others in the ministry. Also, the podcast is great each week!
Orange Leaders - Tips, ideas and helpful resources to bridge the family and the church together.
Youth Ministry.com - Helpful articles, freebies and resources.
YouthMin.Org - New blog that is bringing together youth minister's and their voices to encourage each other.
Stuff I Can Use - Free resources from Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.
Churchleaders.com - It is packed full of great blogs and resources on leadership.
Youth Leader Stash - All kinds of ideas, free resources and blog posts!
Do you have anymore to add?