Anytime a parent signs up their teen for sports or even a new school year, the school administration has all the dates, times, and financial expectations laid out for them to see. I wanted parents in our student ministry to be able to have the information for an entire year of “programming” in their hands at the start of the school year.
I’ve found this is especially helpful not only for parents, but also for our entire leadership team. We always worked hard in August to plan out the entire next year (our “year” runs from September-August). We know the dates, costs, and deadlines for all our events (except the missions experience) and we also have all of our sermon series outlined. Our expectations for the year are clearly laid out for parents to see. We encourage them to follow along with our sermon series to stay on top of what their teen is learning and experiencing. We included a permission form for that entire year as well that can be replicated for multiple events.
This saves a ton of time (especially for volunteer or part-time leaders) for multiple reasons:
- It preemptively answers Wednesday night and event questions for an entire year
- We don’t find ourselves wondering, “What am I going to speak on this Wednesday?”
- It’s posted online so parents always have access and they have event costs months in advance
- No need to keep making new permission slips
- Our leadership team can plan ahead for events easily
- Event dates are usually the first on the church calendar
It was created in Pages (part of Apple’s iWork), so you can download that and edit directly if you want. Otherwise there’s a PDF version as well to see what it looks like. We print it like a newsletter that can be tri- folded and mailed. We invited parents to a Wednesday night hang-out prior to Labor Day, gave a 5-minute overview and put it in their hands.
- 10-11 Parent’s Guide (Pages ’09)
- 10-13 Parent’s Guide (PDF)
- 10-11 & 12-13 Parent’s Guide (Word – exported from Pages, formatting may be off)
This was coupled with a printed t-shirt each year which had our calendar on the back. We sold it to regular attendees and gave it free to first-time visitors. Jump to mjreed.com/student-ministry-shirts for more.