Parents: Not The Enemy

I can count on more than two hands how many times I’ve had disgruntled volunteers express to me their desire to involve more parents in their ministry or program. Though I do agree that it seems few parents take the same interest in their children’s spiritual lives as they do their extracurricular lives, I do take issue with this complaint. I rarely see a true desire for parental involvement but rather volunteers who are either desperate for help or who are struggling and angry and want ‘pay-backs’.

Maybe I’m a bit to stuck on principal but I think motive makes a huge difference here. I’m not interested in recruiting parents only to place them with volunteers who have agendas or misguided expectations. I’m not going to set up my new recruits to be a scapegoat for some imagined wrong.

To a point I understand the view some ministers get of the parents they serve. We struggle with their kids while they get to go to service. We watch them socialize in the hall while we wait to go home because they haven’t picked up their child. It’s easy to start thinking that things would be different if they were on our side of the fence. Parents would get a taste of their own medicine so to speak. Plus, we need more help anyway… it’s a perfect fit, right?

Parents can’t be both our enemy and our salvation.


They are neither. We have a enemy. We have a Savior. We wage war against one (not flesh and blood) and we pray to the other (to send laborers). It’s not fair or in any way right to recruit parents under the curse of the former and the burden of the latter. When we as ministers, leaders and volunteers realize who our true enemy is and where our help comes from, then we are ready to welcome parental involvement with open arms.

But is it enough to simply involve them? (More on that in later posts.)

In the mean time… what is your experience? Have you ever been cornered by an eager volunteer with the “perfect solution” to your worker shortage? Have you yourself ever struggled with “hating-on” parents? Leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

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