Help Your Families Make Youth Events a Priority
Having a great youth program is more than just having a great relationsip with the young people. Ensuring that parents know what’s going on in the program, have advance notice of key dates, and are able to reach you when needed are also key components of a solid program.
Below are 3 things successful youth ministers do to help their programs thrive and encourage great relationships with youth parents:
12 Month Youth Calendar: Print it, post it online, graffiti it on the stall of the church bathroom, stick it on your door with used gum, scribble it on a napkin, but Get It To Your Youth Families Now so they can put the events on their calendar and plan around them. You just need to include the major dates for now – ski trips, choir tours, mission trips, Disciple Now weekends, mystery trips, and fall and spring retreats. You can fill in the details as you get things planned. Be sure to coordinate the dates with other staff members to avoid date or resource conflicts – and possible reschedules, which can impact your attendance.
Publish Your Office Hours: Do parents call you and hear from the church secretary, “I don’t know if he/she is working today.” AARGH. Youth ministry hours are crazy, but like teachers have conference periods you should have set office hours during which the parents, staff and others know they can reach you. Youth ministers who are treated professionally first behave professionally.
Communicate with Parents: Sure, you have Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on for the students, and some parents follow social media, but many parents have to ask their 13 year old for technical support to use their iPhone. At your first parent meeting, (you ARE planning one, right?) request feedback on the best way to communicate with YOUR parents and use it. Yes, you may have to learn to use a typewriter and mimeograph machine, or you can find a parent volunteer who still operates in the stone age and put them in charge of parent communications.
When you’re ready to book your group’s trips for the year, Summit Quest will be happy to help. We specialize in group travel and have a background in youth ministry, so we understand both sides of planning trips for youth groups.
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Featured image by Karen Arnold via Pixabay.com.