How friendly is your ministry to parents? (part 2)

Okay, so last week I was a little ambitious thinking I was going to write a short series on family-friendly ideas. I was speaking in Seattle (Tuesday thru Friday) last week and I still had a mess to clean up after the FAM Conference. Anyway, I’m much more confident that I’ll have some ideas that will contribute to the on-going conversation about a youth ministry that is intentionally trying to be friendly to families.

To review the first three, click here.

Here’s 2 more:

4. END YOUR PROGRAMS ON TIME
If you’re going to have teenagers out on a school night, get them home early. To do this, you’ll have to end your program on time. I already know your resistance: “Yeah right… what if the Spirit is moving?”

That’s a fair question! I’m not sure there’s one right answer… but here’s a few thoughts: (1) Keeping parents waiting in the car can lead to all that Spirit leading to be “undone” by an angry parent. It’s not a big deal of you end late every once-in-a-while, but I’d make a conscious effort to not make it a regular habit. (2) I think Jesus can continue working in that student’s life once he/she leaves your program.

The big picture principle is that you don’t want parents sitting in the parking lot wasting their time (this applies to all events—not just weekly meetings), and most parents care deeply that their kid gets home for homework and a good night’s sleep.

5. COUNT THE COST
It’s expensive to run a family! Being family-friendly means you are sensitive to how youth ministry costs will impact a family–especially families with multiple kids. I realize everything can’t be free and that car washes were created by the devil, but anything you can do to design events/activities that don’t require parents to take out loans will be a gift to the family.

If we want to help families’ win, we’ve got to continue to think of practical ways that clearly communicate “we care about you.”

Okay, here’s 5 practical ideas… how about one from you? How might you be more family-friendly? Share it here.