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YM Essentials: Engaging Disengaged Parents


So, you have some parents who won't engage with the student ministry. Maybe they were turned off by something the last youth leader did. Maybe you've unintentionally offended them. Maybe they just see the youth ministry as a place to get a break from their kids. Whatever the reason, it's time to bring them back!

Here's five thoughts on how to reach out to disengaged parents in an effort to help them re-engage with your youth ministry.

1. Go To Them

Sometimes our insecurities keep us from approaching people we don't think are 'on board with us.' Simply reaching out might be enough to get them re-engaged.

2. Talk To Them

Don't avoid difficult conversations. Don't avoid conversation, period. Have a conversation beyond a standard greeting or fluffy small talk.

3. Listen To Them

Mostly, parents just need to be heard. Listen thoughtfully, without forming responses to what they're saying. You might even want to save the 'response' for another time.

4. Know Them

Invest in parents for who they are - not for the sake of the students. Your ministry isn't just about the kids. The parents need you, too.

5. Encourage Them

They have the hardest job with the biggest influence of anyone in student ministry. Encourage and support them as they try to navigate this path!

Most of us will spend an hour every few weeks having lunch at the school because we see that as having LOTS of ministry potential. I challenge you to apply that same ministry-heart to parents. Spend at least an hour every few weeks investing in a disconnected parent. You'll be making an investment in the one person who has the most influence on the spiritual development of the teenager in their home.

About the Author

Darren Sutton

Darren Sutton is a veteran youth pastor in Corpus Christi, TX, and the co-founder of Millennial Influence. Darren co-hosts a weekly podcast for parents of teenagers with his wife, Katie.

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