Jun 8, 2018

Influence the Biggest Influencer in Kids' Lives

If you want to influence kids, then you have to influence their biggest influencer.

Who is their biggest influencer?  Teachers?  No. Coaches?  No.  Small group leader?  No.  Pastor?  No.  Celebrities?  No.  YouTube stars?  No.

The biggest influencer in kids' lives are their parents. When surveyed, 86% of kids said their parents carry the most influence in their life.

This means if you want to increase your influence in kids' lives, then you've got to influence their parents. 

Is influencing parents part of your children's ministry strategy?  Many children's ministries have the mindset that they will influence kids and leave influencing parents to the adult ministry department.

But here's the truth.  In most cases, you have the greatest opportunity to influence parents.  Why?  Because you minister to their children.  And when you minister to their children, you have their attention.

Think about it.  If you're a parent, when someone does something nice for your child, they warm your heart, right?  That's the same thing that happens when you minster to people's children.  You have a unique opportunity like no one else.

How can you influence parents?  Let's look at a few ways. 

Communicate with parents.  Keep them informed about upcoming events and programs.  Start a Facebook group for them.  Open an Instragram account.  Put out a summer calendar, so they can see what's coming up.  Communicating with parents is a must if you want to influence them.

Provide tools for parents.  Extend your influence into their homes.  Take the lesson that was taught on Sunday into their homes for the rest of the week.  This can be done with a take home paper, video on YouTube, text messages, an email, a smart phone app, etc.

Be diligent to explain to parents the huge spiritual impact they can have, if they acutally use these tools.

Invite them to serve in the ministry.  When kids see their parents serving at church, it makes a huge impact.  Connect with parents and invite them to serve in the ministry.  This doesn't mean all parents should be serving in kids' ministry.  For some, children's ministry is not their sweet spot.  You want parents serving because it matches their spiritaul gifts and passion.

A great way to maximize this impact is to have kids serve with their parents in various ministries in the church.  It might be serving with mom or dad as a greeter.  Or it might mean a pre-teen helping his or her mother in a preschool classroom.  Or it might mean working together to clean up after the service is over.

Come alongside parents at key times in their child's life.  One of the best ways to influence parents is when their child is participating in a spiritual milestone.  These are key times when parents will throw the doors of their heart wide open and invite you to speak into their lives.

I've identified 5 key milestones in a child's early life.  And created a curriculum you can use to really influence parents in a major way during these windows of time.

Here they are:
  • Parent & Child Dedication - this is a golden time to influence parents.  In many cases, it's their first child and they are looking for ways to give their child a strong spiritual foundation.  The class focuses not only on what the dedication means, but also how parents can influence their children spiritually.  This gives you the opportunity to plant seeds in parent's hearts that will bear fruit for years to come. 
  • Bible Presentation - when kids are entering elementary school, you can use this milestone to teach them about the Bible in a deeper way.  Kids and parents learn how we got the Bible, how to study it and make it a part of your everyday life.  At the end of the class, parents present a Bible to their child and pray over them. 
  • Starting Point - when a child starts asking about inviting Jesus into their life, parents will come to you for help.  With this class, you not only share with the child what it means to follow Jesus, but with their parents as well.  You'll influence many parents to begin a relationship with Jesus by using this. 
  • Baptism for Kids - the same thing happens when a child starts asking about baptism.  Parents are wide open to your input and influence. With this class, you will not only see kids follow Jesus in baptism, but you'll influence many parents to be baptized as well. 
  • Elementary Graduation - when a parent has a child preparing to enter middle school, they want to know how to parent their baby who is now becoming a teenager.  This is a key time when you can influence them.  You can hold a class / seminar where you share with them how to parent their child and how to continue influencing them spiritually.  The class ends with parents praying over their child.  It is a powerful moment.  
I want to encourage you to amp up your plans to influence parents.  Look back at the list above and write down 3 ways you can influence parents.  It can be something on the list or maybe it's another idea you've been contemplating.

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If one of the ways is using a milestone, then we can help you.  The curriculum and strategy for all of the milestones listed above are available for you. You can order a single milestone or take advantage of the package price and get all five at a great price.  You can get more info. and order by clicking on the link below.


Remember this.

When you influence a child, you influence a person.  
When you influence parents, you influence an entire family.

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