Oct 13, 2021

10 Things Parents Need From Your Children's Ministry

What an awesome responsibility you have as a children's ministry leader. 

Parents are entrusting you with their children each week. That's a big deal.  

They do have expectations when they come. Let's look at a few of these and how you can ensure it is happening.

Parenting Advice.  Someone said they had 3 great theories about raising children.  Then they became a parent and now they have three children and no theories about raising children.  

Come alongside parents (especially young parents) and offer support, classes and training for the wonderful world of parenting.

Celebrate special moments with them.  Birthdays.  Child Dedication.  Spiritual growth steps.  Graduations. And if you want to take it to a whole new level, provide Milestones celebrations with each of these. Here is more about milestones at this link. 

Safety and security.  With all the violence in the world, parents want to know that their kids will be safe at your church.  Make sure you have security measures in place that will help you build a strong wall of protection around the kids in your ministry.  Here is some great training for safety and security for your ministry at this link.

Help leading their children to step across the line of faith. When a child starts asking questions about entering a relationship with Jesus, it can be a exciting, yet challenging time for parents.  Is my child really ready to do this?  How do I know if they are old enough to take this step?  What Bible verses should I share with them?  

You can come along beside parents during this time with materials to help them lead their child to Jesus, questions to ask to see if their child understands and follow up materials.  

You can also host a class at church that helps kids understand what it means to follow Jesus.  Parents attend the class with their child.  Here is the resource for this.  There is also a second course that helps kids understand what baptism is.  Baptism resource is at this link.

Strategic Bible teaching.  Have a clear teaching strategy.  Provide parents with a scope and sequence of what you will be covering.  I created Connect12 curriculum.  It will help you take kids through a one year pathway from salvation to spiritual leadership.  You can check it out here.

A caring leader.  Someone who knows their child by name.  Someone who helps lead their child at church in a class, small group, etc.  Consistency is the key.  If a leader is going to make a big impact in a families' life, they will need to show up on a regular basis.

Engagement.  Parents want to know if their child had "fun" at church.  That's what they always ask them when they pick them up after church.  Stop and consider this.  By using the word "fun" what they are really asking is did you enjoy the class?  Did they hold your attention so you could learn something?  Did you make any new friends? 

Ratios.  No parent wants to look into their 4-year-old's classroom and see 30 kids in a small room with only 2 volunteers.  They want to know their child will enjoy the class time and get individual attention.  That's hard to do if the ratio of volunteers to kids is out of whack.  You can click here to see the ratios I use.

Transitioning their child to student ministry.   It's not an easy time for parents when their "baby" gets older and is moving up.  You can help parents and their children make a smooth transition into student ministry. Here is a great resource for this. 

Cleanliness.  We are living in a new day with Covid19.  Everything must be cleaned. But even before Covid19, parents wanted to know the rooms, toys, books, etc. at church were clean and sanitized.  Remember, everything needs to walk the talk. Your buildings, restrooms, classrooms and common areas should be cleaned each week.  

I was at a church not long ago and I was surprised to see that their grass was not cut.  It was an eyesore. Again, remember, the sermon starts in the parking lot.

Don't cause parents to perceive your ministry as messy or cluttered.  Keep all areas free of clutter.  A few years ago, I was at Disney World and looked inside one of their sound booths for a musical they do.  The sound booth was spotless.  And there was no clutter. 

Everything walks the talk.  What are your buildings, class rooms, bathrooms, grass, etc. saying about your ministry?

Your turn. What are some other important things parents need from a children's ministry? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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