I’ve tried to be very intentional this year in sending out parent e-mails. I really want to make it a point to keep them in the loop and to partner with parents this year. Not that I haven’t done that in the past, but this year I want to be super intentional about it. In my e-mails I go over what the lesson was for this week, how the guys responded, and what next’s week lesson will be about. It’s a good way to keep them posted on serve projects, and social events that we are doing as a group as well.
There are also some things I don’t put in my parent e-mails. I don’t list out the prayer requests. I want my guys to know that their small group is a place where they can open up about anything. I remember what it was like at 14, sometimes there’s things you’re not ready to talk to your parents about. I encourage them during group time to talk to their parents and to keep them in the loop about what’s going on in their lives, but I leave it up to them to talk about stuff that might be difficult at this point.
I make it clear to parents up front that unless I think their son is in danger of hurting himself or someone else that there are just some things that I need to keep between their son and me. Students won’t open up to you if they don’t trust you. As a small group leader I’m not here to replace a parent in a student’s life, I’m here to supplement them and to be one more resource for their student to have. I’ve got a great group of students and parents this year and they totally understand that.
If you’re doing parent e-mails there’s one more important thing you should include. Ask if there is anything you can do for them. Can you pray for them, their family, help them find another resource or ministry within your church that they might be in need of? Minister and serve the entire family not just the student.