Last Sunday night, we had our parents join us for an “Orange” series in the youth ministry– “orange” in practice, not necessarily as the focus of the content. In other words, we wanted to extend an invitation for parents to join in the faith conversation with their kids; and parents came. The series isn’t about parenting or family. It’s just an ordinary series about forgiveness, which I think is good because we’re trying to help parents understand that this “orange” thing is important for any series, any week, not just specific times.
The turnout was good. I’m hoping for more this week, but roughly a third of the kids who were there this past Sunday had a parent (or two) with them.
I got to kick off the “small group” time, not by previewing the message but by giving a pep talk of sorts. I leaned pretty heavily on Chap Clark’s “Parenting a New Generation” and talked about the need for parents to include other committed, non-parental adults in the lives of their kids. I made sure they knew who each kid’s small group leader was because that’s a pretty good start.
After that, we had a fun, “Newlywed Game” style game in which I think I may have intentionally created questions that would create for hilarious give and take between six pairs of parent and teen.
Then we worshipped together, and the night was capped off by Scott presenting a great message about how unforgiveness just doesn’t work.
I’m optimistic about this weekend. I can pretend that I’m something special because I have a blog and a business card and even an orange stroller– but, when the rubber meets the road, I’m really most concerned with a nuance of the assignment that God has given me here at New Harvest, “to make parent disciples of Jesus who make student disciples of Jesus.” Yeah, I just want more parents to show up, more “get it” factor, a better relationship between small group leader and parent and more people to join in on the faith conversation with their kids.
Here are a couple of comments from parents from last weekend:
“The Small group was good for me, and Scott’s message gave me and [my daughter] lots to talk about. Thanks for modeling the faith for my daughter!” – a dad with a middle school daughter
“Awesome sermon tonight. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks!” – another dad with a middle school and a high school daughter