Partnering with parents is a key factor of the Orange Strategy. We recognize what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. So, as ministry leaders, we want to build a relationship with parents to help influence what happens at home.
Parents initiate the relationship when they bring their kiddos to our churches. Our churches are given an opportunity to demonstrate how much we value their family by welcoming them into the elementary ministry environment. How can we make sure we take this opportunity to show parents how important they are to us? Here are a few ideas:
Post friendly greeters at the door of your church and the entrance to your ministry environment. These greeters can high-five kids and answer parents’ questions. They will help family’s find the right place and get checked in.
Decorate outside your space. I know many of you put extra effort into amazing theming inside your environments each month, but make sure you decorate where parents will see, too. Maybe frame each month’s poster and hang it outside the door. Or continue the theming decor to your entrance. A brightly painted wall around a freshly painted door will show parents you care about creating a fun environment for their kids.
Make sure parents have all the information they need. Provide clear signs showing how to get from the parking lot to your ministry space—and which age group should go where. Hand parents a monthly Parent Cue either from the small group leader or at the door at pick-up. If you’re not sure what might need to change, ask a friend or neighbor to come walk through your environment with fresh eyes. What confuses them? What surprises them? How could you help them more?
Pay special attention to drop-off and pick-up. These two minutes are all parents see of your ministry. Make sure they’re seeing a good representation. Plan something to engage the kids during pick-up so small group leaders can greet parents when they enter. Put the bottom line slide on the screen or poster on the wall as a visual of what kids learned.
Every time a family walks through our doors, they give us the chance to build a stronger relationship and increase our influence in their lives. Thus opening doors for us to introduce parenting principles that can help them become the spiritual leaders we hope they will be.