10 Times When You Can Make An Impact in the Lives of Parents

Parents.  We know they are the biggest influence in their children's lives.  

They have the most time with their child. 

They are called to be the primary spiritual leader of their child.

They have the strongest relationship with their child.

If you want to influence children for Christ, then you must start by influencing their parents.  

Your goal should be to influence the greatest influencers in a child's life...their parents.  

Let's look at 10 key times when you can impact the lives of parents who will in return influence their children.

Key Time #1 - A child enters the world  

In the race to a child's heart, the first one there wins.  George Barna

Be there for young couples during the 9 months they are preparing to be parents. Get them connected to a small group for new parents.  Encourage them.  Pray for them.  Offer preparation for parenting resources that will help equip them for this most important task. 

Key #2 - Parent and Child Dedication.  Notice that it is called PARENT and child dedication.  I would encourage you to include parents in the preparation for their child being dedicated.  Parents should play a major role in this event. 

Include a parent and child dedication class that parents must attend before they can dedicate their child. In this class, emphasize what the dedication means, why children should be dedicated and the crucial role that parents play in raising kids that follow Jesus for a lifetime.  Here are a couple of resources you can use for this. 

Give each parent a copy of the book "Fertile Soil...See Kids' Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime."

Have each parent go through the Parent and Child Dedication Class.  At this link, there are great resources for the class and dedication.   

If you want to influence children, then you should first seek to influence their greatest influencer...their parents.

Key #3 - Bible presentation.  When a child is entering their kindergarten and lower elementary years, you can influence parents to make the Bible a key part of their life and their child's life.  

Host a class / workshop about the Bible.  Parents and children will learn how we got the Bible and how to make it an important part of their life.  They will also be able to see and understand God's Big Story found in the Bible and how they are part of it. 

This class / workshop will make a big impact in the lives of children and their parents. I have a curriculum for this class at this link.  It can be a life-changing class for parents. You can get the Bible presentation at this link.

Key #4 - Salvation class.  When their child begins to ask questions about following Jesus, parents will normally come looking for help.  You can impact parents during this time as they prepare to lead their child to Jesus.  If you really want to impact parents during this time, you will offer a salvation class.  In this class, you can clearly share what it means to follow Jesus.  

Often you will impact parents during this time and see them make a decision to follow Jesus as well. You can get more information about this class at this link.  It is one of the most important times you can impact parents.

Key #5 - Baptism.  Parents will also come to you when their child starts talking about being baptized.  This is another time when you can impact their life and the life of their child.  Once again, you can provide a class for parents and their children about what baptism means, who should be baptized, when you should be baptized, etc.  The class is available at this link.

If you really want to impact parents during this time, offer parents the opportunity to help with their child's baptism.  When you do this, you will also have the opportunity to see parents come to Christ and get baptized with their child. I have seen this happen time and time again.

Key Time #6 - Graduation Celebration. One of the key times when you can impact parents, is when their child is transitioning from elementary to middle school ministry.  This can be a nervous and challenging time for parents.  

You can host a powerful, life-changing, shared experience for parents and their children during this time.  Guaranteed to impact them. Be prepared to see lots of tears as you guide parents through a time of blessing and praying over their children.  Parents will be equipped for the middle school years.  You can get the class and celebration times at this link.

Key Time #7 - Parenting Classes.  For too long we have pushed parenting classes over to adult ministries.  I believe that children's ministry should lead the way in providing parenting classes. 

Key Time #8 - Follow Up Discussions.  Create "take home papers" that parents can use to disciple their children at home.  Instead of giving it to the child during dismissal, hand it to the parents and say, "Here is what we learned about today.  Here's a great tool you can use at home to talk about it with (your child)." If you want to use technology to do this, you can send a text message to parents with the discussion questions listed.

Key #9 - Social Media.  Approximately 95% of young mothers are on social media.  They go there for parenting advice, connections and posting pictures for grandparents and friends to see.  Get connected online with parents.  Create a Facebook page for your ministry and invite parents to join you.  Post updates about the ministry on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.

Key #10 - Times of crisis. Tragedies happen.  Death happens.  Crisis happens.  Simply be there for parents when they are going through the storms of life.  They won't remember everything you said to them. They won't remember all of the prayers you prayed for them.  And it's understandable.  Often when you go through a storm, everything is blurry as you try to just survive. But one thing they will remember is this - you were there.  You showed up and supported them, you prayed for them and you helped hold them up when they felt like they would never smile again. 

Remember this...

When you impact a child, you impact a person for Christ.  But when you impact parents, you will impact the entire family. for Christ.

Stay focused on parents and watch what God does.