I think we’re all in agreement that the primary responsibility for spiritual education of kids should be with the parents. That’s biblical. But that doesn’t release us from doing all we can to partner with them as they make this journey. One of the best ways to do that is to build a strong relationship. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Meet them at the door! What better way to communicate than face-to-face? Your attention, first to their child, and then to the parent, speaks volumes! Everything else rests on the foundation of that personal relationship you build week after week. Ask how their week was. How was soccer, basketball, ballet, piano…you get it.
- Show that parent you have an interest in them outside the church walls. Attend those school and sports events, send birthday cards, make phone calls and celebrate milestones.
- Pray with and for them. Let them know you’re praying for each child in your class. Ask for specific ways you can pray. You may get surface requests at first, but as you build a relationship, they’ll develop a trust that allows you to walk with them through some tough times.
- Send notes of encouragement. Brag on their child. As a mom of two boys, how I would have welcomed hearing some good words, whether at the door, in a phone call, or in a written note or e-mail.
- Take a minute to walk through the take-home page with the parent after the session. Sometimes we have a habit of just bundling everything up and not pointing it out. They may not realize the page is something they can use to continue the learning at home. Thus…the pages left outside in the hallway!
- Introduce parents to “apps” that will encourage family interaction on the Bible story. The Gospel Project for Kids and Bible Studies for Life: Kids both have great family apps!
- Lastly, just be there. Be available when they need an ear, a shoulder, or a friend.
I’m interested in how you connect with parents. Please share!