“I just don’t know what to do, it doesn’t seem like my son is connecting with their small group leader.”
This question I hear so very often, from parents of students in my friends group, from students talking about parents of their friends, and also from the parents of the group of dudes that hang out with me on Sunday.
The truth is that when conversations between leaders and students happen, most of the time they are not profoundly theological or on that level of complete trust. If they ever do get there, it is because we have learned how to connect with each and every individual student.
We’ve learned to do this:
– As a volunteer
– Independently of the group of about 30 or more students
– On top of fulfilling your adult/parental duties
– During nap time
– During football time
– During “me” time
All of this, is next to impossible if you don’t have the backing of the parents of your students.
Let me rephrase:
Next to impossible without the parents of the students being involved.
It’s unfortunate how many times how much this comes up, and then when I ask “Do you initiate contact, or try to plan stuff for your son’s/daughter’s small group?”
They answer with a no.
This no, is usually followed by a look of bewilderment, confusion, and/or anger. Almost as if to say “You mean I actually have to put EFFORT into my child’s social and spiritual growth within the small group?”
Seriously parents, daheq?
Ok I know that’s not what you are thinking, but sometimes it comes across this way. The importance of creating a running dialogue is because this opens the door to more access, eventually allowing more opportunities for a student-leader relationship.
So here are a few ideas to start the conversation with the small group leader:
- Respond to emails!
- Host something for the group, anything really.
- At your house: Pizza dinner, bonfire, College/pro football party, AMA/Miss America party, etc.
- Off site: Hike, tailgate at a HS football game, supporting another student’s event
- Offer to help drive places for outings
- Participate in service projects
I’ll take some of the blame for us SGL’s for not properly communicating to you up front that although yes, we are fabulous rock stars who volunteer our time for your child, we absolutely need your help to plan, coordinate, and communicate all of the fine details in order to get certain events done.
We may be crazy, wild, adventurous, brave, and full of energy, but we are human and we often need to partner with you to help plan. At times we may slip up and drop an F bomb, but in the end we are trying to love on your son and daughter so that can see the type of grace and love that ultimately points to our Father in heaven…
…and we can’t do this without you.