Developing strong relationships with your student’s parents isn’t always easy. Because of personalities you may find an instant connection with some parents while with others, you may never make it past the, “Hello my name is…”
At the end of four years with my current church, I have developed a number of wonderful relationships with a good handful of parents. Yet, sadly, there is still great many more where there is work to be done. So the relationship building continues.
Here are three more quick thoughts.
1. Throw Out the Time Line. Remember, relationships take time to build and develop. There is no quick fix. Take your time and genuinely pour into your parents. Don’t rush the relationship. In most cases, you will have a year or more to get to know the parents and families who participate in your ministry. Like I said, with some parents there will be an instant connection making it easier to get to know them. But with others, you may need that time to allow the relationship to develop.
2. Don’t Give Up. Ministries are built on relationships not programs. You need to be intentional. Go out of your way to greet them when they pick up your teen from an event and youth group meeting. Send cards of encouragement for the job they are doing and praise them when their teen does something praise worthy! With patience, time, and effort, you can create that bond.
3. Be Quick to Apologize. This is a hard one, but we all make mistakes. when you recognize a mistake on your part, be quick to apologize and make things right. Your apology doesn’t make you weak. It humbles you, and reminds you that Someone Bigger is at work. As with any relationship, feelings get hurt, pride gets stepped on, and emotions cause us to say and do thing we later regret. A heart felt, “I’m sorry for hurting you,” can go a long way.
Check in tomorrow for the final post of the series, as I share three things to keep in mind when things don’t go well with parents.