I absolutely love parents! Here are some of the resources that I am using to help our parents, grandparents, and guardians at Shoreline Community Church.

1) A Dedicated “Parents Page” on our Website.
With the approval of Pastor Bob, I began developing a youth website on Tumblr, revision-students.com (only $12 for the domain, per year). As I began developing, I added a simple “Parents” page, revision-students.com/parents. This has grown in becoming one of the single most impactful actions I took to bridge the gap with our parents. We have  included on Parent’s Page a range of information:

- Upcoming Events: For big events like Camp, Evoke, and Mission’s Trips, we developed individual webpages with trip specific information to help parents find what needs to be packed, when to drop-off and pick up, etc. But we have a one or two sentence summary of date, cost, and location of each event.

Weekly Teachings: We briefly describe what we are teaching at our mid-week gatherings and our Sunday growth groups. For more detailed information our parents visit, revision-students.com/current-series, which shows weekly what is being discussed and if we have sensitive topics we indicate it on the week it is discussed with an “*” and note it in our monthly email. This has saved us from offending parents of younger youth.

Parenting Resources: We break it down by Websites, Books, Free Downloads, and Seminars on subjects such as, “Purity & Contemporary Issues”, “Bible”, “Parenting”, etc. We took the time to add active links and keep updating when we find great material. We have a separate “Resources” page for our students, revision-students.com/resources.

Overall, our website has been time consuming process and this is just the specifics on our “Parents” page. The time put into it has greatly helped me long-term. Whenever I have parents ask about specific events or what is being taught, I simply point them to this website. If they are new, I verbally tell them first, then write on a notecard our website for parents so they can read more. According to Google Analytics, it’s been our most viewed page after our home page.

2) Monthly Email Updates.
Many decide on weekly emails but I do weekly reflections on our website for both parents and students to be up to date. This also helps generate traffic from sources such as Twitter and Facebook. Here are some key things we include in every Parent Email: “What’s Been Going On”, “Upcoming Events”, and “Quick Reminders”. On every email, we include active links out to our website and various social networks. I always end with this signature, “Your Biggest Fans” and sign my wife and I’s name. The main thing I want them to remember is Krista and I are for them and love them, not just their kids or money.

3) Bi-annual Parent Huddles and weekly Parent Coaching.
We intentionally use verbiage and phrasing that are used in team sports. We want to subtly remind parents that Krista and I are on their team.

- Parent Huddles: Twice a year we host our parents after our last morning gathering to a free lunch full of giveaways, pertinent information, and encouragement. Throughout this event we have pictures from our events rolling through on the screens, we have a free, quality lunch, and have our youth staff team intentionally connecting with all of our families at each table. I share with them some information on why we exist, how things have been going, remind them of our resources both online and in house, give away free books and Starbucks gift cards, and we pray for them. We open it up for questions and constantly are pointing them to our “Parents Page”. We also give them a postcard with the date and time of our next Huddle with the approximate cost, dates, and name of upcoming events that are coming up the next 6 months. Click HERE to view photos from our event. If you have a youth ministry budget, be generous, your parents deserve this. If you do not have a budget, do a potluck style and make it as significant as your resources will allow.

Parent Coaching: I hesitate to inform you all about this, because I do not want to seem like I’m trying to be a YouTube sensation. I do not. Stuttering has a strange way of making you leery of any recording. But for the sake of helping our parents, I’m working through it and creating videos that are released every week. They last between 5-12 minutes and aim towards coaching our parents on issues teenagers face. This is providing a pastoral perspective and walking the tension of being both the parent’s and youth’s advocate. Essentially, I have the conversation I would have with them in my office or at Starbucks if they would want to talk with me about these issues. We have them broken down by mini-series, with the current one being, “What Do I Do When ___________.” If they have any questions, we are always available.

All of these items have helped to develop an incredible amount of trust and credibility with our parents. We are striving to find more ways to equip, disciple, and love our families. If you have any questions on developing your own webpage on Tumblr, want a sample of our Parent Coaching, or want to learn more about our Parent Huddles, let me know, brian@shorelinecc.com.