As Children’s Ministry leaders, we are constantly trying to stay ahead of ourselves. We try to remember which rotation of volunteers are up each week, if anyone needs a sub, if there are any special supply needs for the lessons, will the check-in system work this week, do we have enough snacks . . .
It feels overwhelming to think of all we need to do and plan for just that one day each week!
We have a couple of hours to pour into a child’s heart-connecting them with a Biblical life application that points them to a God who created them. In fact, at Orange, we say that within a given year we see those kids 40 hours a year—and that is why Sunday matters!
By the end of our time together we wrap up with a prayer and pass out our Parent Cues and breath a sigh of relief…6 more days until we do it all over again.
It can be frustrating to walk out of your class, through the lobby and out to the parking lot where you see those same Parent Cues stuffed in garbage cans, laying on the ground, made into paper airplanes and stuffed in the back of someone’s Bible.
You wonder why it’s not sticking. Why aren’t parents eager to know how to engage with their kids at home about the things we discuss on Sunday?
Although you are frustrated, you sigh and start the same hard work planning and preparing again for next week!
I think all of us have been at that place at least once (…or a couple dozen) times! There is so much we want to do and say to our leaders and parents but we feel defeated by all the work we do just to pull off a Sunday morning!
The bottom line is that parents don’t see it the way we do.
They are overwhelmed with all the other things in life they are juggling. They aren’t just preparing for 1 day a week, but they are trying to get through 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At Orange, we estimate they have about 3,000 hours a year with their kids!
Parents are thinking about laundry, groceries, homework, car pool, work, and getting out of work in time to pick up their kids at daycare so they aren’t charged extra for every minutes they are late!
Parents are worrying about their kids from every direction. Maybe they fear their daughter might not be promoted to the next grade if her grades don’t improve. Maybe their son is always in trouble and they are at the end of their ropes.
Plain and simple: parenting is hard and never-ending!
How can you connect with a tired parent who wants nothing more than their kids to know God and turn out to be half way decent adults?
You can support them.
Not by yourself-but with help!
- You inspire your team. You can’t do everything, but you can lead your Small Group Leaders to connect with the parents of their small group. The role of a Small Group Leader isn’t small. It’s BIG!
- You listen. You can offer to take parents out for coffee or lunch to talk about how much you like their kids and what a great job you think they are doing raising them!
- You cheer for their kids! As a mom, I cannot tell you how it makes me feel to hear someone brag on my kids. We can be that for parents!
- You show up. We can take a kid out for ice cream to talk about the trouble they are having at home or at school. We can give parents support by loving their kids and telling them that they are doing a great job.
What we do as church leaders is more than crayons and glue and goldfish crackers. When we connect with parents, we show them how important they are and give them a little more fuel to get them through the week.
We partner with them. We have their back. We think orange.
Two COMBINED influences are greater than just two influences.
To think more about the vision for your ministry, read:
Raising the Bar