by Sarah Anderson
Connecting with students is hard work. Ask any seasoned volunteer, ministry staff, or parent. But when it comes to relationships with teenagers, parents may need encouragement more than anyone else. When all they get at home is an attitude, they can often wonder if anything positive is happening internally. As a volunteer and leader, you get a glimpse into a student’s heart that a parent may not have. And what better way to encourage and spur on your parents than passing along what you see in their teenagers?
The next time you are at camp, on a retreat, serving together, or hanging out, look for specific things the students in your group are saying or doing that mark growth. It could be anything from their willingness to share with the group when no one else will, to their comedic timing when things start to feel awkward. It doesn’t have to be a spiritually charged moment, but a moment when you get insight on your students that a parent may need to hear. Then pass it along. Send a note, make a call, write an e-mail—something to let parents know that you noticed something in their teenager, that you see something happening, and you want them, as a parent to be encouraged.
You never know how far a few noted words of affirmation may go.