This post was written by Crystal Mazzuca, an INCM Blog Team member.
I met Julie when I first started attending my church.
She was walking in front of me with a MOPS magazine, and, being the extrovert that I am, I immediately introduced myself to her and boldly asked if I could join her at her next meeting.
I’m outgoing. I’m social. I have major FOMO, so I say “yes” to just about every opportunity that comes my way.
I’m the type of parent that you don’t have to ask twice when it comes to being connected.
But we all know parents that are on the other end of the spectrum.
Maybe they are shy and reserved.
Maybe they are so busy they barely have time to come to church on the weekends.
Or maybe they just don’t see the value of going all in when it comes to your ministry community.
The reasons do not matter.
It’s our job and privilege as children’s ministry leaders to go above and beyond connecting disconnected parents.
Because we have a responsibility to bring those who feel left out of God’s kingdom in. And the opportunity is right in front of us with these parents.
Here are 3 ways we can work on connecting disconnected parents to our ministries.
When we notice that parents are disconnected, it’s okay to wonder why. But it’s even better to figure out why.
That can only happen when genuinely care about them.
We need to take the time to get to know them.
We can seek them out at drop-off and pick-up, making a point to chat with them.
We can invite them out for coffee. Not to make any kind of ask or sales pitch but just to get to know them better.
As we learn about them, God will give us glimpses as to how we can best minister to them and help them connect.
Not every parent will connect in the same way.
Some will be a part of everything we ever offer at our churches. Others will pick and choose.
The best thing we can do is be creative in what we offer when it comes to building community.
If everything we invite parents to is a big event, maybe we need to try something a little more intimate and personal like a dinner club or a rotating game night.
Maybe we need both a discipleship book club and a casual park play date.
Or maybe we need to make a point of not just expecting them to come to our events but instead going to wherever and whatever they are involved in.
The more varied we are in our offerings, the more we will have things that will appeal to a wider variety of parents.
Even as we are caring and creative, there may still be families that linger on the fringes.
Like the persistent widow in Luke 18, let us keep asking the Lord to bring them in, and let us keep on seeking them out!
Some parents are harder to get to know. Some take longer to warm up.
Either way, we show them we care by not giving up and trying new things.
We can set reminders in our calendars to check in on them.
We can make a point of sending them encouraging texts and postcards, following up with what we know is going on with them, and even engaging with them on social media.
However we do it, we need to let them know that they are seen, known, and cared about.
Not every parent will connect in our churches in the same way. However, it’s worth it to help connect disconnected parents.
Because when we are intentional, we can help each of them know that they always have a place to belong in our communities.
Crystal has always loved working with kids. After earning her Master’s in Christian Education Administration, Crystal was hired as the full-time Director of Kids’ Ministry at her church. She’s thankful to have found a family of like-minded brothers and sisters who share a common passion for Kingdom growth through discipleship.