by Jeff Brodie
Parents don’t walk around over-encouraged. They just don’t. Most parents feel like they aren’t doing a good job of raising their kids. Parenting resources make them feel guilty, and the Facebook feed of their friends’ seemingly perfect families doesn’t help. It’s isolating. For some families, the only time they hear from an adult who knows their child is from the principal or the police.
Here’s the truth we need to remember: Kids are an incredible gift, and hold unlimited potential to impact the world around them. Their parents are their primary influence, and Jesus is their only hope.
A number of years ago, I realized the Small Group Leaders in our student ministry had very little contact with parents, so we started to create events that needed the Small Group Leader to call the parent in order for the event to succeed (sneaky, I know).
We told the Small Group Leader to finish every conversation with the parent by sharing one thing that they appreciated about their child and that they loved having them in the group. Being a former teacher, I know this happens rarely for a parent.
The result was overwhelming. Parents opened up about their relationship with their child, parents smiled, parents were surprised, some parents even cried. Parents loved the chance to talk to someone else about their child.
Small Group Leaders have power as another voice in the lives of parents as well as kids. Here’s what they need to be saying:
1. It’s a privilege to know your child.
2. Here’s one of the things I appreciate most about your child.
3. You are doing a good job as a parent.
4. Nobody loves your child more than their heavenly Father.
5. We’re in this together.
Another voice in the life of a parent or a child is so powerful. Let’s train Small Group Leaders to leverage their influence with parents to reach the next generation.
In what ways do your Small Group Leaders encourage parents? In what ways have they been able to build relationships that encourage parents?