Church small groups often cultivate friendships that have lifelong impacts, creating valuable support networks for the youngest members of your church. As a small group leader, you must navigate this ship – it starts with nurturing your relationships with your parents.
Learn how to speak into the lives of your kids’ ministry’s small groups by building strong and supportive bonds with their parents.
Why Are Parents Important?
The importance of parents in a child’s life is obvious. As their primary caregivers, parents influence the beliefs, habits, and values their kids end up developing. Getting the parents on your side will be invaluable as a small group leader, strengthening the church’s influence on their kids' lives.
Approaching children’s ministry as a team means working with parents to help each young mind of your ministry build an everlasting bond with God. Kids need repetition to enhance their learning, and parents can continue educating them from home. A dynamic relationship between small group leaders and parents is invaluable.
How To Lead a Small Group
Leading a small group of kids means meeting them where they are and seeing them as equals. Don’t talk down on them or get frustrated by their questions, but understand the beauty of the unique childhood perspective they have to share. Kids have a beautifully simplistic view of the world that we should encourage them to embrace.
Remember that the building blocks for small group sessions with kids are essentially the same as for adults. Everyone thrives when they feel loved and cared for, and every successful small group makes people feel at home. Church Leaders suggest that a ratio of five kids to every adult is the sweet spot for small groups.
How To Speak Into Your Kids’ Lives
Kids are empowered when they bond with an adult who truly sees and respects them. A moment of friendship, mentorship, and care between a small group leader and their student is powerful, as kids can often be ignored or disregarded by the adults in their life. Keep these tips at the forefront to speak into your kids’ lives through nurturing bonds with parents.
Take Care of Your Kids
You might have a particular figure from your childhood who guided you through a difficult period or supported you when you struggled. Maybe they went out of their way to give you extra tutoring when you needed it or noticed when you were feeling down. Small details like this help kids feel protected and cared for.
The stronger your relationship is with the parents, the easier it will be to care for your kids. Working with parents means an extra set of eyes on their progress and wellbeing. When the parents of your ministry know that you mean well, don’t judge, and genuinely care about their kids, they will open up to your guidance.
Remember Important Dates
Remembering a child’s birthday means the world to them, and singing Happy Birthday with the class probably counts for even more. Ensure you commemorate important dates like the birthdays of all the kids in your small group to demonstrate how much they mean to you. It builds a unique friendship between leader and child.
With parents, you should engage in a conversation to know what’s going on with them too. Remembering little details about their family will mean a lot to parents and nurture your relationship with them. Sending parents a little card or message on their anniversary or on a significant birthday will go a long way in relationship building.
Review Their Development
As a small group leader, keeping a close eye on your kids’ development is a must. Each semester, conduct a small survey for each child to analyze their progress. Depending on their age, you might have to answer questions for them, give them a simple multiple-choice questionnaire, or allow them to elaborate on their experiences independently.
Meeting parents face-to-face to discuss these reviews will help keep the kids on track. Deeper discussions with parents will give you an insight into the lives of your kids, enabling you to support them in the ways they need. Share in their joys and mourn their losses – you are part of the same team.
The simplest answer to the question “how to build trust with parents?” is to offer genuine care for their kids. Check in regularly using church apps or church texting services so you can share details about their kids, no matter how small.
Open and casual communication between parents and the small group leader will offer a more meaningful connection to their family. And as communication goes both ways, direct channels for chatting will empower parents to reach out to small group leaders if they have any questions, worries, or doubts.
If you are a kids’ small group leader at your church and want to go the extra mile for your little learners, remember that it all starts with the parents. Partner with parents and put your young students first.