On average, a ministry leader has 40 hours in a given year to impact the life of a kid or teenager. In other words, there are many different things working against a kid showing up to your church. To name a few . . . vacation days, holidays, sick days, and blended family calendars. But when you add all of those up, you get around 40 hours every year.
And as a leader, you need to calculate what you are going to do with those 40.
On the other hand, when you calculate the number of waking hours parents have with their kids, the answer is 3,000.
So when you look at the 40 hours you have in contrast to the 3,000 hours parents have, doesn’t it make logical sense to engage parents?
If you want to make a difference and have a lasting impact on the life of a kid, you need to think in terms of how to partner with and engage parents. More specifically you need to engage every parent to win.
What it Means to Engage Every Parent
When we say every parent we mean…
Parent of kids with special needs.
Parent outside the walls of your church.
We mean every human who has a parental role.
You see, “every” requires you to understand individual parents.
Every enables you to do more than what you would usually do.
It requires you to think outside the content of parents you see every week.
Every requires you to think about the parents you don’t have a relationship with.
Ministry leader, every requires you to think about the parents you don’t see.
Because here’s what is true…
Every parent wants to be a better parent.
If you act like every parent wants to be a better parent, then you’ll do more than you would have done before. Because with this mindset, you’ll give parents more potential, credit, and actually respect them more.
But what does engage parents actually mean?
We simply mean to engage parents with their families, friends, kids and teenagers.
Engage parents with a community that will actually support them in winning and what they do as a parent. So that one day when their kids grow up and become adults, they’ll still be friends.
Engage every parent is such an important strategy because we want to connect parents to something that will help them win at home.
What Partnering with Parents Looks Like in Your Ministry
So what does that look like in your ministry?
We actually did a research project where we met with leaders all around the country and asked how they knew they were winning when it came to partnering with parents.
Essentially, what does a win look like?
All of the ideas kind of came down to these two concepts:
- Help parents become more intentional at home and more connected to a community.
- That means if we want to help parents, we need to measure the win by what happens in the walls of their house and how they are connected to a community.
We all want to make a lasting difference in the lives of the kids and teenagers in our community. But that requires us to do more than the 40 hours. We have to make sure we are leveraging the 3,000 to influence the future of a child.