How to Create Trust Between the Church and Families

Kids’ ministry is far more complex than pointing youngsters in the direction of God, as it encompasses the entire family. Parents are a fundamental part of their children’s development, so you must include them in the very fabric of your ministry.

Chris Holland
August 29, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

6 Ways to Build Trusting Relationships

How you get the parents onboard will impact the relationships you form. Build trusting relationships by ensuring your children’s ministry is something parents can rely on, run by people they can count on.

Strengthen the bonds between parents and the church by focusing on these six central pillars of trust. 

1. Communication

Church parent leaders meeting up

The thing about communication is it seems so second nature that it's often forgotten. Saying a friendly hello when your parents come to collect their kids doesn’t quite cut it. The best way to ensure you’re doing enough is to have multiple communication channels functioning alongside each other.

Supplement the kids’ ministry newsletter with one-to-one meetings, regular text updates, and even church apps like Parent Cue. Parents and guardians should be in the loop whenever anything significant happens at Sunday school. Keep the conversation constant and consistent to ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Partnership

Parents teaming up

When parents feel like the purpose of their kids’ ministry is to lecture and shame, they tend to switch off. Remember that family ministry is about building partnerships and learning through cooperation, not telling parents what they are doing wrong or where they could improve.

By initiating two-way conversations that consider parents’ points of view, kids’ ministry can build strong, enduring partnerships. Children’s Ministry highlights that there should almost be a negotiation between church leaders and parents to set expectations in a way that benefits everyone.

3. Punctuality


Trust builds over time, and timekeeping may play a bigger role than you think. If you forget about an appointment with parents or are late to let the children go on a Sunday, you subtly send the message to families that their time isn’t as important as yours. Leaving people waiting is unprofessional and unkind.

Show them that you respect their time by being where you said you would be when you said you would be there. Punctuality and trust go hand in hand, so don’t be the kind of ministry that leaves parents wondering where you are or waiting for you to get organized. Build trusting relationships by being a ministry that parents can rely on.

4. Reliability

Ministry teacher reliably working with her kids

The people who work for your kids’ ministry, (whether as church volunteers or full-time church workers) need to display your church values. That is why proper training for your kids’ ministry team is essential, as they become the face of everything your church stands for. An unequipped, untrained worker might not know how to respond effectively in an emergency.

As parents leave their kids in the hands of your ministry workers week in and week out, they have to be reliable and trustworthy people. If a team is only as strong as its weakest link, how would your kids’ ministry measure up today? Serve HQ offers free volunteer training resources – check them out!

5. Encouragement

Mom with kids feeling encouraged

Wherever possible, lift parents up with kind words of appreciation and encouragement. Remember that having young kids can be tough, and running family life isn’t always a walk in the park. You don’t know what struggles the families of your ministry are facing behind closed doors, so why not spread some joy?

Following parents on social media will give you a clearer insight into their lives. If you see them posting about something good that has happened, why not celebrate alongside them? Thank them for making church a priority in their child’s life (after all, their kids don’t show up on their own) and praise them for their hard work.

6. Authenticity

Parent laughing and smiling with his son

Authenticity is a quality that is hard to define but easy to sense. Parents will get turned off if they feel like the image that your kids’ ministry projects isn’t quite the truth. Be upfront with parents about everything involving their kids, so they trust the direction you take with their children. 

Building relationships with parents means not just caring about their kids but showing them you care. Take an authentic interest in their youngsters’ hobbies and interests, and the reality of the bond between you will win the parents over too. Make it your ministry’s goal to prioritize building trust in teams and genuine relationships between workers, volunteers, kids, and parents.

Build Trusting Relationships

Church family walking together

Once broken, trust is hard to rebuild, and parents are particularly unforgiving when it comes to their kids. Build trusting relationships with the parents of your ministry through clear church communications, regular one-to-one meetings, and reliable church workers. 

Plan frequent evaluation meetings to assess how well your kids’ ministry is doing while providing a space for your church volunteers to raise concerns. Address problems head-on so your ministry is a reliable place that parents can count on to provide quality care for their children.


The answer to the question “how to build trust in a relationship” stays the same whatever the relationship is. Being punctual, honest, consistent, and genuine will build trusting relationships, whether they are with family, friends, ministry workers, or volunteers.

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