Supporting Parents and grandparents who are disinterested in the cm

Your Question:

“How do I deal with parents or grandparents who don’t read anything we give them, nor show any interest in the children’s ministry?”

The Issues:

Seeming “disinterest” is a challenging issue! As with all perceptions, this “disinterest” needs to be investigated.  “Disinterested” parents or grandparents may be “parenting” the child alone and may not have time or energy to show their interest. Their “disinterest” may be rooted in their own negative church experience, and they don’t want to “get involved.” Connections with the parents or grandparents is vitally important, but it can’t be forcibly demanded.

Scripture Foundation:

“Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water…The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you—I am he.’ Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?  They came out of the town and made their way toward him…”  John 4: 4-28

Short Answer:

It is important to make some connection with the “distant” parent or grandparent, even if it means waiting for them in the hallway at checkout or looking for them in the parking lot. This is the style of Jesus. Instead of always waiting for people to come to Him, He sometimes went out of His way to connect with them. The effort to connect with the “distant” parents or grand parents will be appreciated. Let them know that you care, and that you would like to know what they think about what their child is experiencing in the CM. The best way to build bridges is with honest questions and then listening. The classic adage that says, “People don’t care about what you know until they know you care.” It’s very true with “distant” people. Make sure you don’t appear to be “stalking” them or tracking them down. Ask God to make the connection as comfortable and friendly as possible. Compliment their child by saying something like, “(child’s name) is such a wonderful child, I just had to meet who was raising him/her!” Once you compliment them about their child, the conversation will be relaxed and cordial. Ask for their suggestions about how to make the ministry to their child better, or how to better communicate with the parents or grandparents. Admit that today’s world is very busy and that you want to do all you can to invite the parents or grandparents to partner with you in ministering to their child.  You could make this connection via the phone, but it is much more effective in person.  Don’t use texts to try to build this connection! Once you’ve made the connection, you can’t do much more if the parents or grandparents choose to remain “distant.”  Make sure to wave at them or personally greet them at check-in or checkout. For more help, click on the links below.

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