By Kenny and Elle Campbell
So we’ve got this goal.
It’s not the biggest or loftiest goal in the world, but as a ministry that believes in the need to partner well with parents, we think it’s an important one.
Here it is.
Our goal is that every single one of our student’s parents knows the name, face, and phone number of their son or daughter’s Small Group Leader.
In our ministry, small groups (and, consequently, Small Group Leaders) are the backbone of everything we do. Our Small Group Leaders are responsible for the majority of the hands-on discipleship, relationship-building, and connecting with parents. They are the essential link between our church and the families of our students. But while we believe in this strategy and approach to ministry, it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish.
A few years ago, we found ourselves hitting the same wall over and over again in terms of partnering with parents. While we were trying to encourage Small Group Leaders and parents to connect and partner, many of our student’s parents simply had no idea who their kid’s Small Group Leaders were. So, to begin solving that problem we asked ourselves, “What is the easiest thing we can possibly do to let parents know who their kid’s Small Group Leaders are?”
That’s when we came up with the idea of Small Group Leader Profile Cards. They’re super simple, but they’re incredibly effective.
We give our Small Group Leaders a ton of these cards in the beginning of every school year and encourage them to use them kind of like business cards for their student’s parents. They send these cards home with their students, hand them out at parent events, and give them to new families when they visit our church for the first time. Each Profile Card gives parents some important information on their child’s Small Group Leader…
· Their name and photo.
· At which campus and service time they volunteer.
· The grade level they work with.
· Their phone number and e-mail address.
We’ve found that the simple act of a Small Group Leader placing one of their cards in the hand of a parent communicates our ministry’s heart for partnering with parents in a way that is clear and compelling – it communicates that as their son or daughter’s Small Group Leader, they are committed to their child, available to their family, and are willing and prepared to make an investment that transcends a once-a-week Sunday morning small group time.
We love these Small Group Leader Profile Cards so much that we’ve made the template available for anyone to download, customize, and use—for free. You can download the editable file and learn a little bit more about how we use them in our ministry here on StuffYouCanUse.org (a free student ministry resource site that we recently launched).
It’s our hope that the parents of our students hang on to these cards, stick them on their refrigerators, keep them in their wallets—whatever—as a reminder that, as parents, they are not alone. That there is at least one other person who is on their side, who loves their child, and who can be trusted to guide them toward Jesus. At least in our experience, we’ve found that these simple little Profile Cards can be a catalyst for a long-term partnership between parents and Small Group Leaders.
Kenny and Elle lead the Middle School Ministry of The Chapel at CrossPoint in Buffalo, NY. They are also the founders of stuffyoucanuse.org, a platform for churches to share and discover free, editable resources for Student Ministry and Family Ministry. They are passionate about middle schoolers and seeing churches come together to share the very best of their ideas and resources. And they’re married. To each other. You can find them on twitter at @kennnnnnnnny, @ellllllllllle, and @stuffyoucanuse.