Tip: Let Them Serve: Parents.
Have you tapped into the greatest resource of volunteers?
Parents are one of your best resources and locations to find volunteers. From organizing events to helping with small groups, Parents can be a wonderful blessing for you and your ministry.
1. Parents as Planners…
– Parents often have great ideas for mission projects and activities. As parents they see first hand what their kids do. Birthday parties at bowling alleys, great gaming spaces, ice skating venues; parents know what you can do in your area. When you listen, include, and use the ideas and suggestions of parents you demonstrate a unique partnership. If a parent comes to me with a great idea, I quickly recruit them to oversee and help coordinate whatever the activity might be.
2. Parents as Volunteers…
– Parents want to be involved in what their kids are doing. Youth ministry can sometimes be a secret club with a “No Parents Allowed” hanging on the front door. Why not ask your parents to join you ministry? Parents are the perfect volunteers to help with snacks, working in the kitchen, standing by your welcome table greeting parents as they drop off their kids, transportation help, and security.
3. Parents as Leaders…
– This one is a little more difficult. Parents as leaders is a delicate balance of Parent and child working together and being okay that the other is around. Parents can make great small group leaders, discussion group leaders, game leaders, even special guest speakers. But before asking any parent to participate you must first have a one on one with the child. After all, the youth ministry is to the youth first, if you involve parents without the consent of the child, you risk creating an awkward situation for you, the child, the parent, and the group. And make sure you do your homework. Treat the parent like any other would be volunteer. Give them your application, have them complete the routine background checks, and meet with them for an “interview.” You want to e sure that the parents motives are in check and that they are right for your program.
We (youth workers) aren’t always great communicators. When you ask parents to volunteer, you provide them with an opportunity to see first hand what you are doing with the ministry. Not only do you win them, but you win a supporter and voice for your ministry.
Parents can be a wonderful blessing to you and your ministry, so don’t overlook the possibilities.