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The worst thing you can hear from a parent is, “I didn’t know that was happening! When did you announce this?” Or, “I never know what’s going on in the ministry!”

Let’s face it, sometimes I feel like parents can be pretty clueless when it comes to getting all of the answers about what’s going on in the ministry. I didn’t realize how big of a deal communication was, however, until my own kids started public school. For years I had given parents a hard time about not knowing when certain things were going on. Now I found myself asking over and over again “When is the dress up day again? What’s the theme going to be? What day is the field trip? You need money for what again?”

It’s really opened my eyes to look at how I can better communicate to parents. Take a minute and write down every place that you give information to parents. You may post things on social media, on your website, put things in the bulletin, and even print out flyers that you post in your room. However, there is always going to be that one parent who only gets their information from email! Dang!

Here’s the deal, parents are going to choose where they get their information. I am a cell phone guy. If it’s not a text or an email I am probably not going to be aware of it. That’s a really hard thing for me to handle when most everything from my kid’s school is a crumpled-up piece of paper from the bottom of their backpack.

Here’s some good news: you don’t have to kill yourself trying to type the same sentence 18 different times. Think about it this way: Write it once. Design it once. Send it out.

More than likely you’re going to have to design something for a screen somewhere. It might be for your pre-service announcements in “big church” or in your youth room. Use that graphic everywhere! Maybe even design it so that it can be easily squared up! That way, if it needs to be a different shape for a specific type of media, you are good to go!

Write the text that you are going to use along with the important information: what, where, when, how much, and who is participating. Then copy and paste the mess out of that stuff. Does your church bulletin require less information? You can easily edit your original text. Do you have a parent Facebook group? Post the picture and copy the text.

Bonus points: some social media outlets allow you to post things in one place and then have it automatically posted someplace else. For example, every picture I put on Instagram is automatically posted on Facebook. Two birds, one stone.

Think about it this way: Youth Announcement > Email > Poster > Social Media > Bulletin > Text Message

Each time the message gets smaller, but the information stays the same!

-Ronald Long

Discussion Questions:

  1. What pieces of communication are missing?
  2. How can you make communicating with parents flow more easily?
  3. What’s going to be your response for that one parent who will not get it together no matter what you do?

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