It’s tough for parents to grasp what happens in the hour kids in our groups on a Sunday morning. We can’t blame parents for this though. They’ve got a heck of a lot going on. And from what I’ve seen, parents don’t really understand what we do as small group leaders . . . until we let them in.

Parents are running ragged. On top of just the regular responsibilities of a parent they’re . . .
running their kids to sports and extra-curricular activities.
working full-time jobs.
feel pressure at work.
dealing with defiant teenagers.
handling family drama.

Whatever it is, they’re utterly wiped out.

So can we really blame them when they quickly drop their child off with us so that they can benefit from the chance to sit in the service alone and catch their breath? Nope. Our job is to take notice of their tired eyes and to reach out. We aren’t just there to serve their kids!

Consider sending them a note or an email to pass along this gem of truth from Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” We remind them that the God who gave them their children is big enough to carry them all through the journey.

The road of parenting is no joke. And as their children’s small group leaders, we can encourage them by telling them they’re doing a great job and that their hard work is paying off. We can tell them all the positive things we see in their kids, because of how they are investing in them day after day. We can play a part in assuring them that they are not alone. We can take a minute to give them a hug in the hallway and ask if there is anything we can do for them. And most importantly, we can listen. Parents do a lot of listening, and sometimes, they don’t have anyone on hand who can offer the same to them.

Often times, even your calm and seemingly happy parents may feel a bit like they’re at their wit’s end in some regard. And if you are a parent, you can probably relate, even if you aren’t in that place right now. Every single parent finds themselves there from time to time. It’s deep and dark, and no one should attempt to emerge from the depths of it alone.

So reach out to the parents of your few. First hand, I can tell you that when you do this, your relationship with their sons or daughters will grow too because, at this point, you have earned their trust. They believe that you see them and care for them and their family. Suddenly, the high-five they see you greet their child with at the door becomes a message to them that communicates, “Let’s do this together. We’ve got this.” And that message is incredibly important!

 

Written by Ashley Litton
Liberty Baptist Church
Hampton, Virginia

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