I know the true meaning of Christmas but that doesn’t make me immune to some common holiday pressures. Shopping, decorating, cooking — and I’m not a master of any of those things! If I’m feeling the stress, I know parents are as well.
Too often, I think, we forget that our ministries should reach the whole family, that includes Mom and Dad.
What a great time of year to reach out to parents. Fortunately for the busy children’s pastor, making this important contact with parents and or grandparents won’t take you long or cost too much. Build a stronger support system for the children you serve by building relationships with their parents.
Send a Christmas card. Collecting names and addresses might prove to be a challenge, especially if you have a strong bus ministry but you can send cards home. Write something special about each child, tell parents how grateful you are that to have the child in church. I include my email address so parents can contact me anytime they like. I love giving cards to parents.
Drop off some cookies. If you don’t bake (that’s me!) buy some cookies. Wrap them in colored cellophane and put them on a pretty plate. Make a special holiday visit to kids’ homes, bringing a sweet treat with you. Get to know Mom and Dad or at least introduce yourself. It’s real ministry that parents appreciate.
Host a parents’ day out. This outreach does require a little more time but it is worth it. Sponsor a parent’s day out so Mom and Dad can finish up their Christmas shopping without their children in tow. Pull together a few games, some movies and snacks. My parents always appreciate this little perk. Do make sure everyone knows what time it ends though. (Experience speaking!)
Merry Christmas calls. You’d be surprised at how one phone call can make a difference in a parent’s life. Let Mom and Dad know they are doing a good job. Say, “Merry Christmas.” Be available but don’t take up a bunch of their time, unless they want to talk. Even a kind text is a nice gesture.
There are so many ways you can reach parents at Christmas. Be thoughtful and watchful for any opportunities that may present themselves.