This guest post is from Kevin Patterson. Kevin is the Youth Pastor at FBC Dawson Springs, Kentucky. He blogs at Life in The Youth Ministry Fishbowl
One of my passions is Parent Ministry. I believe that parents of students shouldn’t be treated like the enemy, like a leper, or like something to be avoided like road kill (well maybe not road kill, some people do eat that). We should champion our students parents! In my ministry setting I have a three fold ministry focus for the youth ministry; students, parents, and volunteers. We have programs set in place that focus on all three. I have a saying and a goal in our ministry, our parents should feel like rock stars!
I will say that parental ministry in a rural setting, like anything in rural setting for that matter, is different. Typically, in our area, rural ministries are usually smaller. Smaller is not bad! We can intimately minister to those parents and zero in on their needs.
So what are some specific parent ministry opportunities that a rural setting presents to us. Here are some ideas, I will also include more ideas and thoughts in follow up articles.
1: Intergenerational service opportunities:
In you area, I’m willing to be there are ALOT of service opportunities if you look. How much of an impact would it make on your student if they got to serve along side their parent? How much of an impact would it make if they actually got to see their parents living out their faith? These local service opportunities are quicker to pull off due to lower participant numbers. Get your families out there building a Habitat for Humanity house. Get them helping that local farmer patch up that old building. There are HUGE opportunities out there. Make the most of them.
Man I am here to tell you in Kentucky we have festivals for EVERYTHING! If it grows, can be canned, bred, or smoked we have a festival for it! How neat would it be to have a church night out? Load up the church van and go to the festival. Let the parents and students have some fun and do a little local evangelism.
3: Daddy Daughter Dance (D3):
Let me tell you as the father of two beautiful daughters there are not many daddy daughter date night type stuff out there. What if your church provided a specific event to allow dads and daughters to bond and attend? In smaller communities these type of events are usually a BIG deal. On the tables include placemats that have questions that both the father and daughter can ask to help spur on spiritual conversations. Allow fathers and daughters a special time during the dance to pray for each other. This dance doesn’t have to be a formal dance, though it could be, it could be a good old fashion hoe dow, barn style dance.
Theres a few ideas to chew on! Until next time!