I lead a small group of sophomore guys, and it’s one of the highlights of my week. After our first week of meeting together I wrote an email to the parents (which I’ve posted below). Here are a few principles for communicating well with parents.

Make it a priority. It doesn’t take a lot of time to email your parents. Sure, it’s one more thing to do, but it’s worth doing. This is one of those no brainer leadership decisions because a little bit goes a long way. Think salt when baking a cake.

Be personal. You aren’t just communicating information, you are building a relationship–or at least you are opening the door and creating the option for relationship. An important way you can be personal is to make it easy for them to get in contact with you. 

Tell them what you are talking about. Let your parents know the topics and passages you are talking about. This way, if they want to have a conversation at home, they are better equipped. This also lets them know that you are (attempting) to disciple their kids…not just “have fun.”

Tell them what’s happening in the church. Every church seems to have a ton of things going on, so one more reminder can’t hurt. This also communicates that your ministry is apart of the larger church. You aren’t a lone ranger (who wasn’t really alone because he had Tonto), and it’s good for them to know that!

Communicate regularly. Last year, when my group was all freshman, I sent an email every week. I did this because it was a new group and none of the parents knew me. After four or five weeks, I didn’t email every week, and I let them know this in my last “weekly” email. I made it a goal to email the parents once a month.

Your Turn!

Take that list and make it better, then pass it along to the other leaders in your ministry. When we partner with parents, our students win.


An email to the parents of my small group

Hello everyone!

TG is joining our group! He was at the Rams game last Sunday (go Raiders), but he’ll be joining us this week.

What will we be studying this year? Great question! So glad you asked!!

Every HSM Sophmore Life Group will be studying FOUNDATIONS, a class written by Tom Holiday and Kay Warren. It’s a fantastic class. I’ve taught it to adults and students several times over the last 20 years (yeesh, I’m getting old.).

Starting in January, Saddleback is going to be teaching the class for adults. I’ll be one of the (volunteer) teachers for the class. If you haven’t taken it, you should. Here’s why:

Foundations is a systematic theology class that’s written in the way that it should be: it’s about transformation, not information. Would you agree that we don’t need more information? We need more than just knowing about God, we need to know him personally.

Maybe you are wondering, “What in the world is systematic theology? Sounds like a class I’d ditch or sleep through.” Here’s a better way to describe it: TOPICAL TEACHING.

For example, you could read one verse about EVIL (or SALVATION or the TRINITY) and you would have one biblical perspective on that topic.

Or, you could (A) read every verse in the Bible about EVIL, and then (B) study what scholars have said about it through the centuries, all while (C) taking a bunch of notes and then (D) organize what you learned (systematize it) … then you’d have a bigger biblical perspective on EVIL.

Or, you can go to the FOUNDATIONS class, and benefit from the years of study that Kay and Tom have done.

Feels like a no-brainer to me. If you are interested in the class, let me know and I’ll find out more info.

Back to the students: HSM ran out of books, so we did our own thing last week. That timing works, because Tyler couldn’t make it.

Last week, we read and discussed John 15. If you want my summary of the passage (less than 100 words), you can find that here: http://growspiritually.com/2018/10/29/how-to-be-cut-back-so-you-arent-cut-off/.

We’ll meet from 8:30 to 10:00 at my house. (address and phone below)


[I ended the email with a link to the ministry web page, the ministry purpose statement, a list of important dates, and even an encouragement to volunteer in the ministry.]