An important part of your endeavor to Lead Small is to partner with parents. But sometimes Sundays are the hardest times to talk with the people who attend your church! I mean, seriously? Have you seen how fast parents can move when the last “Amen!” has been uttered and service is over? It seems that everyone is on an impossibly tight schedule and whether they are dashing off to get to the restaurant before the crowd or rushing home to get everyone down for nap time, the chance of getting an extra word in is slim to none.
So how do you connect with parents, when you can’t even catch up with them? How do you let the parents of your few know about you? Even harder, how do get to know them better, so that you can better relate to your few?
Sometimes the old method of “snail-mail” can be a great option. Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill or a pizza coupon?
If you have recently stepped into the position of small group leader, a note to introduce yourself and share a little about your life can go a long way to begin a relationship that will be beneficial to both you and the parents. The more a parent feels like they know you, the more confident they will be in the role you are taking in their child’s life. Even if you have been in the role of SGL for a while, and it’s not a recent change, just make up a reason to send a note:
“Hello, Smith Family! It’s Friendship Friday and I wanted to send each of my small group families a note to say how much I value our friendship! Here’s some facts you may or may not know about me…..”
Ok, maybe that’s a little cheesy. You can probably come up with a better reason than Friendship Friday. The point is, find a reason and connect with your families. Every parent values that time and effort that is poured into their child. They will appreciate your effort to reach out to them. You can send a note with basic info about you, your family, your job, your school or your hobbies. Or send a note about something their child did in class that week.
You can also interact with your families on Facebook. While some parents are leery of having information about their children on the internet, you can still send a message to them about the previous week while respecting their request for privacy.
Sometimes you can invite them to join you for Sunday lunch. I mean, everybody’s got to eat! Do it together once in a while. Your few love getting that one-on-one time with you outside the classroom. Just a note, though. Be sure to make that same offer to the families of all of your few. If you only have lunch with one or two families over and over, it can cause the others to feel left out! Everyone wants a little of your time! And they all deserve it.
As your relationship grows, you will be able to use this connection to send encouragement in areas that you know are of concern to the parents of your few. You will be able to share comments that your little ones make that confirm that they are learning and taking what they learn to heart.
It’s all about relationships.
You with your few.
You with their parents.
The stronger the relationship, the more effective the influence.
Have you found ways to connect with the parents of your few?