6 Questions to Answer To Boost Parent Engagement
Parents are a vital part of any ministry, so prioritize their involvement in the process. Answer their questions before they even have to ask to demonstrate that you are taking care of their kids as you advance your ministry to the next level.
Answering these six questions will show parents just how much your ministry values their families.
1. How Do You Plan to Partner With Parents?
A worry on many parents’ minds in times of church growth is whether or not the partnership will stay strong. People might think that the more families and kids a ministry serves, the more stretched its resources will be, but often this isn’t the case at all. A bigger church means an extended team and even more people to help with kids' ministry.
Reassure parents by outlining a Partnering With Parents in Youth Ministry Plan or something similar. Have set in stone dates for 1:1 meet-ups, family church events, and celebrations for the kids’ milestones to show families how this growth can positively impact them.
2. Which Ministry Curriculum Will You Use?
Church growth means a switch up, and parents will be keen to know how this might change day-to-day things like the kids’ ministry curriculum. If you already use a children’s ministry curriculum like Think Orange, and a church presentation software like Playlister, adding more accounts and screens to your church will be a breeze.
If you plan to upgrade the curriculum now that you are serving more people, remember to explain your decision to parents and give them an overview of the selling points of the new spec. Some smaller churches create their curriculum with free resources online, but as church growth continues, this stops being feasible.
3. How Will You Care for Each Child?
What is a parent’s worst fear? That their child is not cared for sufficiently. Clear this worry from your parents’ minds by reassuring them that every child is their utmost priority and that ministry growth won’t impact their kids negatively. Introduce them to any new church workers joining the team, so they can trust their kids are in safe hands.
Have an action plan for each child in your ministry so parents know they are supported from start to finish. Create a family calendar with dates for reports and reflections, as well as special moments for a celebration like mini graduations. Using church apps like Parent Cue gives families an instant insight into their kids’ progress whenever they need to see it.
4. What Are Your Priorities as a Ministry?
Whether your church is expanding with an entirely new church plant location or just opening its doors to more people, parents need certainty that your central priorities as a ministry are staying put. Understanding your church vision in times of growth is as essential for church leaders as it is for families, so dedicate some time to working this out.
If your church vision needs a refresh, now is the time to do it. Families can get behind the momentum of church growth if they know what they are signing up for, but you may lose them entirely if they feel deceived later down the line. Check out this Pastor Mentor blog for more information on establishing your church vision and why it’s important.
5. How Will You Share Resources?
Will everything stay the same as before the growth, or will you be introducing new methods of information sharing? Keep everyone in the loop by informing families of any significant changes to communication channels before they occur to prevent any important messages or updates from being missed.
You probably already have a church social media page, but give it a refresh as you head into new waters. Update your Facebook group for family ministry so parents can stay in communication with church leaders and with each other. Having a central hub where families can ask questions is invaluable in times of change.
6. What Events Will Be Available?
These points all sound very serious, but it’s important not to forget that church growth is a time to celebrate! Ministry expansion means that your church is so successful it can welcome more people than ever before to join the family, so make sure you frame it this way.
Throwing a church event is the perfect way to solidify the celebration and bring all your congregation together, so you enter this new chapter as a unified team. Get parents on board by reminding them that this is an exciting time to be a part of your church.
Be Upfront and Open
Most importantly, be forthcoming with information and let them know about your plans before you implement them. Informing your families of the changes that are due to come well in advance means there will be no nasty surprises for anyone, keeping everyone on the same page.
All that parents want to know is that their child is a priority for your ministry, and answering these six questions before they even ask will make it clear to the parents of your church community just how much you care.