parent ministry

Your Guide to Not Blaming Parents for Everything

"Being annoyed is a concoction based on expectations and the stories we tell ourselves." - Seth Godin, Inverting the Index 

If you're annoyed with your parents, ask yourself:

What expectations do I have of the parents in my ministry?

What narrative have I created about their lives?

Too often, we confuse the primary source of formation with the only source of formation. It's easy to believe when annoyed with parents that "Parents are lazy," "They don't get it," or "Parents don't care."

When we tell ourselves these stories, we risk becoming the savior of family woes. Instead of engaging parents, we separate them from their teens and isolate ourselves.

To make an impact on families and reduce our frustration, we need to change our expectations and the stories we tell ourselves by:

Listening to a Parent's Story

Just as you spend time with your children, getting to know parents on a personal basis is crucial. This might involve lunches, going out for coffee, or even a chat on the phone. Don't be afraid to carve time out of your week to get in touch and ask them, "How's it going?"

Sharing the Vision We Have for Their Kids

We can't assume that parents know what we want for their kids. Clarity only comes when we share the vision of the ministry and invite parents to provide feedback. Whether through a meeting, an email, or a casual conversation, let parents know your intentions but remain open to their thoughts. This approach will not only clarify your initiatives but also build substantial trust.

Examining Our Personal Experience

Your parents were probably pretty awesome, or perhaps they were not. Maybe your perception of parents stems from your personal experience of raising kids. Since every family is unique, it’s crucial to acknowledge the different challenges and situations parents face. Before we can create a narrative around them, we must take time to understand our own.

Ministering to parents will inevitably come with frustrations, but as long as you ask yourself, "What are my expectations, and what is the story I tell myself?" you'll be able to navigate these challenges.

Remember, parents want the best for their kids. They will make decisions about their child's formation that make sense to them. If it doesn't make sense to you, don't discredit it. Instead, listen to their story, share the vision, and reflect on your own experiences.

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