Oct 7, 2020

More Important Than Influencing Kids

Is it important to directly influence kids?  Yes.  But if you want to really influence kids, then you've got to influence the people who influence kids the most. 

And who is that? 

Parents. 

Parents have the most influence in their child's life...hands down.

If that's the case, then we should have a clear influence strategy for parents.  

Children's ministries that only try to influence children are making a big miss. 

You see...here is what I believe. 

When you influence a child, you change a life.  But when you influence parents, you change the entire family.

The mentality in many churches says the adult ministry should be the one that takes care of reaching and discipling parents.  Children's ministry take care of influencing children.  Adult ministry will take care of influencing parents.

But we must remember, as children's ministry leaders, we have a prime opportunity to influence parents.  When you take care of and love on and pray with the parents of the kids in your ministry, you will see kids begin to grow spiritually at a new level as well.

Let's look at some ways we can influence parents so they in turn will influence their children.  

Influence parents through milestone experiences.  Milestones are key spiritual events in families' lives that you can use to teach and influence parents big-time.  These are times when parents will welcome you with open arms to speak into their life.  

You can see more about how to use milestones to influence parents at this link. 

Influence parents with good communication.  You can't influence parents if you don't communicate with them.  

Keep them in the loop with what is going on in the ministry.  Make sure you use communication methods and tools that are current.  Examples are Facebook, Instagram, email, text messages and the old, but proven tool called a phone call.

Influence parents by offering parenting classes.  Take the lead and host a parenting class.  Many parents are looking for help in this area and it's a great time to speak into their lives.

Influence parents by praying with them for their child.  Ask leaders in your ministry (small group leaders, teachers, etc.) to contact parents and let them know they'd like to partner with them in praying for their child.  

In your nursery and preschool rooms put a prayer promise verse on the wall.  Ask team members to whisper that prayer over the kids.  Give parents a list of verses you are praying over their child and invite them to join you in praying for their child.  You can also create a prayer calendar for parents. 

Influence parents by offering family experiences.  Family events.  Family cookouts.  Family worship services.  Family fun nights.  Family Outreach.  These experiences bring families closer together and gives you the opportunity to speak into their lives.

Influence parents by leading a small group for parents.  Start small groups for parents.  Ask your key children's ministry leaders to lead these.

Influence parents by enlisting them to serve.  It's a big deal when kids see their parents serving.  Consider even having kids and parents serving together.  

Influence parents by building relationships with them.  Influence happens through relationships.  Get to know the parents in your ministry.  Have some of them over for dinner or meet at a park for a cookout.  The more time you spend with them, the more they will be receptive of your influence. 

Influence parents by speaking in the adult service.  Ask your pastor if you can speak in the morning service about parenting and leading your children spiritually.  Maybe it's one of the weeks your pastor will be out of town and you can fill in.   

Your turn.  Do you agree that influencing parents should be a big part of a children's pastor's strategy? What are some ways you have influenced parents?  How do we encourage parents to influence their children for Jesus?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

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