Building Support For Parents and grandparents
“We don’t offer parent or grandparent seminars or printed materials. How can I begin to add these to our ministry?”
This is an area that usually has little or no “political tension.” Your senior pastor and ministry leadership most likely will agree with and support any efforts to support parents and grandparents. The challenge may come when you propose increasing the budget to reflect this new effort. Your ministry “load” will also increase. You may or may not be able to add paid personnel to your ministry team to reflect this added focus, so you may face doing this with the staff and team you currently have. For many CM leaders, this is why more direct support for parents or grandparents isn’t part of the ministry. When you propose new ministry ventures, you must include financial and personnel support as well.
“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” Psalm 103:17
The Some churches and CM leaders may view the CM as the primary place for children to be introduced to the Lord and to be discipled. Although the CM can be a major influencer in children’s spiritual growth, it is not the primary place for children to learn about God. God clearly identifies the home as the best place for children to learn about Him. We, in children’s ministry, must view ourselves as assisting what the parents and grandparents are doing for their children’s spiritual growth. It is true that some parents or grandparents bring their children to us to teach them about God because the home doesn’t do that. For these children, the CM may be the only place from which they learn about God. For these children, we must work hard to teach or encourage the parents and grandparents to become spiritual influences for the children. The CM is a place for partnership and support for the home, not the only place for children to grow spiritually. When a CM wants to begin supporting or training the parents and grandparents, that effort must begin with a clear ministry vision. If your ministry vision doesn’t specifically mention parent or grandparent support and training, you must adjust the vision first. Ask God for help and guidance here! You can start small with simple training and encouragement for your CM team to engage the parents. At check-in or check-out, don’t just process the slips or barcodes! Talk to the parents! Ask them questions about their life, mornings, or week. Share compliments about their children and ask them for specific things that you can do to minister to them or to their children. This takes time! If you are running a “lean” CM team, and you don’t have the personnel to carry on this interaction without neglecting the children, you may want to recruit just CM greeters! The CM greeters will not be a part of the procedures inside the rooms, they just “work the hallway” as they greet and interact with the parents and grandparents. This is usually an easy position to fill because it doesn’t involve any preparation or interaction in the classroom. The “hallway greeters” should be adults who love people, and who have happy, outgoing personalities. They should be trained in basic communication skills and in emergency procedures. They should wear the approved CM teamwear or ID badges. Their purpose is to interact with parents or grandparents in the hallways outside the classrooms, and to look for ways to support or encourage these valuable people who bring the children to the ministry. They should be ready to listen to needs and to pray with the parents or grandparents when needed. They should be “equipped” with CM brochures, event calendars, upcoming seminars, etc. The “bridges” that are built in the hallways will strengthen the support the CM offers to both parents and grandparents. Begin working on parent/grandparent support seminars. These could be short gatherings offered during Sunday services (if you have more than one Sunday morning service), after the Sunday service (including a lunch), or during the week. The timing of these seminar offerings is critical. If you offer these seminars during the week, or after a Sunday service, you need to offer CM programs for the children. Click on the links below to see an overview of possible seminar topics. Having parenting/grandparenting pamphlets available in the hallways or at the CM information booth is also a great way to support the parents and grandparents in your ministry. Each of these pamphlets focus on one specific topic. The pamphlets have CM phone numbers or email addresses for further help or questions. You might also consider posting these same seminars or pamphlet topics on the church or CM website. Click on the links below to see an overview of the possible topics covered in these pamphlets.
Visit other articles in the “Supporting Parents And Grandparents APPENDIX” (COMING SOON)