Enhancer of Joy
Lesson Developed by
Caroline Ainsworth Hughes and Kelly Antonson
Setting A Vision for Ministry Together
Tips to Prepare
- Invite parents/guardians via a mailed letter, consider making the meeting mandatory.
- Create printed materials to share at the meeting (schedule, mission/vision statement/, health and release form, trip and retreat sign-ups).
- Ask students for testimonials and create an inspirational video or slideshow to highlight your ministry.
- Prep other leaders to share their background and their faith connection to this ministry.
- Ask parent leaders who are on your committee or ministry team to share their experience and recruit support for other parent volunteers.
- Name tags
- Sharpies and pens
- Year-Long Youth Group Schedule
- Mission Statement
- Health/Release Form
- Mission Trip/Retreat Forms
- Volunteer Sign-Up Opportunities Sheet
- Video/Slide Show of the Ministry
Setting the Atmosphere
- Hold the meeting in your sanctuary or large meeting space with A/V capabilities.
- Have volunteers greet and check in parents so you have an attendance record.
- Have those at check in pass out a packet of printed materials and a pen.
- Have everyone put on a name tag.
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
This meeting allows the entire community to come together to set a vision for the ministry for the program year ahead.
In this session parents/guardians will spend time with the youth worker to learn about the program, mission statement, behavior policies, and ways for their children to engage deeply.
Parents will learn how they can participate in and support the ministry as volunteers.
Resources for parents might include:
Sticky Faith Parent Curriculum from Fuller Youth Institute – https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/store/item/sticky-faith-parent-curriculum-dvd
Link to Resources section for samples of:
Meeting invitation letter
Mission Trip/Retreat Forms
Introduction for Leaders
It is important to schedule this meeting early in the program year so that all parents are aware of the mission, and the requirements of participation in the youth group. It is an opportunity to create parental buy-in and to engage parents more deeply in the ministry. There will be a lot of logistical information to cover, but be sure to tell the story of the ministry and to emphasize the scriptural and spiritual underpinnings of why this phase of youth faith formation is important.
Gather [5 minutes]
Greeting One Another:
- Allow for parents to introduce themselves to those sitting to their left or right.
- Ask veteran parents or members of your committee to spread out and meet any new parents.
“Dear God. We thank you for the opportunity to come together as a community that loves your children. Indeed, they were yours before they were ever ours and so we ask that you be a part of our ministry both tonight and in the year ahead. Give us a vision for how you imagine we might live, and serve, and love one another in your name, Amen.”
Introducing the Session:
- Use A/V materials to set the tone and lift up a visual of a year in ministry. This should be a 3-4 minute video/slide show of what your ministry looks like – photos and clips interspersed with short powerful student testimonials or excerpts from your mission statement.
Engage [40 minutes]
Activity 1: Outline the Vision and Mission
- Spend time outline the mission and vision of the youth ministry and/or church. Why is this ministry compelling for young people and their families? How will their lives be different as a result of participation?
- What do different levels of involvement look like? Occasional attendance vs. consistent involvement. What might be required to participate in a mission trip or other travel event? Are there other elements of your ministry to share – confirmation, choirs, bible studies?
Activity 2: Introductions and Information
- Introduce any youth workers (staff and/or volunteers)
- Ask each leader to share a minute on their background and a minute on the part of their faith that comes alive at youth group.
- Optional – if you have student leaders, you may want to introduce them at this time.
- Introduce any Parent Committee/Ministry Team members.
- Ask a parent team member to share what they and their children gotten from the ministry thus far
- Have a parent team member talk about how parents can participate in hands on ministry (driving, food preparation, chaperoning, mentoring) and ask attendees to complete the Parent Volunteer Form.
- Briefly review your year-long schedule, highlighting any required/covenant events.
- Talk about requirements around trips/retreats.
- Talk about any financial obligations/payments that will be required.
- Ask parents to complete the Health/Release form and request that parents speak to you privately about any special dietary or medical concerns/restrictions for their child.
- Talk about the importance of both shared communication and confidentiality between youth, parents and the youth leader.
- Provide an overview of the church’s safe conduct policy and any requirements for volunteers and drivers.
Reflect [10 minutes]
- Talk about how parents/guardians and families can support participation in youth group.
- Talk about what a shared ministry with parents/guardians and families looks like for your group.
- Allow time for questions
Send Forth [5 minutes]
- Thank attendees for trusting their children to your care and ministry, for their partnership with you as co-ministers in the lives of young people, and for their time this evening.
- Close in Prayer