Yesterday I had an informal meeting time with my new small group guys, just some time for pizza and to get to know each other better. Half of them went to summer camp with me last week but the other half did not. I sent a text to them and an e-mail to parents explaining that I wanted to spend some time getting to know their son’s before we started the official small group in September. Yesterday I got an e-mail back from one of the parents asking me if I would mind telling her a little bit about myself, how long I’ve been a Christian, my background, how long I’ve been involved with student ministry, etc.
That’s when it dawned on me. These parents don’t know me; I hadn’t taken the time for them to get a comfort level with me. I was glad this parent e-mailed me, it was a reminder that I needed to take the time and let them get to know me, after all they are trusting me with their son! I normally do this in a parent letter at the beginning of the school year when small groups are starting out. Here’s the information I share with them:
1. My background, where I came from, where I was raised, how I became a Christian, my career, my family life, etc. Everything that is about me and who I am. I encourage them to contact our High School Ministry, our high school pastor and ask him questions about me and how I do ministry. I make sure they know our High School Ministry does a background check on all staff and volunteers who work with students.
2. I share my Facebook and Twitter page with them and this website. If you want to get to know how someone lives their life, often times Facebook and Twitter show a lot about you. I want them to look at this website, it’s an invitation to see into mine and Steven’s mind and how passionate we are about student ministry.
3. I give them my e-mail address and my cell number. I want them to know I’m here for them too, not just their student.
4. I let them know what I expect from them also. I’d like them to help their student commit to be at small group each week, and to attend church each week and to get involved and not just show up for small group.
These are small steps but they go a long way to building a comfort level with parents.