Getting the trust and support of parents in ministry is huge and the best window for hitting a home run is just around the corner. We all want to have great relationships with parents and at times we work tirelessly trying to win them over . . . or even catch them for a few seconds in the hallway at church. This is your chance to sow little seeds and reap huge! Of course you’re going to spend time thinking of the best way to welcome kids into your ministry this fall! Take some time to help parents transition their kids into jr high.
My oldest son is entering Jr high this fall. Although I’ve been working with jr high kids for 10 years in ministry, my wife and I are still finding ourselves anxious as our son prepares for this fall. There are many parents who have children entering jr high for the first time that are experiencing a sense of the unknown or even fear of the school year to come. This is an opportunity to reach out, meet a real felt need and build a bridge that will yield crazy results for the next three years.
Here are some tips and ideas to get you started: (if you have more please comment)
• Get parents who have had kids go through jr high come to an evening program or casual setting to talk with kids and new parents, give advice and pointers
• Find out when the school does orientation and partner with them or offer an afterglow with refreshments; go ahead and invite teachers, the principle, sell school T-shirts and such
• Let parents know you plan to visit kids at school their first week for lunch
• Offer to Pray with these parents specifically for this. Prayer is our weapon against fear. The parents will never forget your intentionality to their situation.
• Make jr high survival kits for parents and kids, include: before & after school safety tips, a fall activities schedule for ministry at your church, a top ten list of things they should know about their school (DO YOUR RESEARCH – but don’t name mean teachers they’ll get that info at the water cooler.
• Encourage parents to tell their jr high stories to their kids. Kids never tire (ha, usually never tire) of hearing NEW stories from their parent’s childhood. Don’t let them trick you into stopping, they love it, they don’t know how to show that they love it