Faith Is Not As Important As Soccer: The How-To Guide To Engaging Our Parents in Ministry: Part 5

As humans, we are known to think about the short-term gain and ignore the long-term. Parents are no different. In fact, I think parents might think more short-term then non-parents. Here’s what I mean:

  • I can’t wait to get my baby on solid foods.
  • I can’t wait to get her potty trained.
  • I can’t wait until she starts walking.
  • I can’t wait until she starts talking.
  • I can’t wait until she starts school.
  • I can’t wait until she starts driving.
  • I can’t wait until she’s out of the house in college.
  • I can’t wait until she comes back home to visit us.

Dealing with faith and a relationship with Christ means dealing with the long-term and non-tangible. I dare to say that parents focus more on the short-term goals of their children then they do on the long-term goals.

For instance, parents spend more energy getting their kids involved in sports then in church. That is true for getting good grades, being involved in theatre or dance, and other more tangible things.

Why?

Because all these things have an immediate positive affect on the child and the family. The biggest example is this: all of the above things I named can help a child get into college.

I would suggest that one way to engage with parents is to help them provide for the short-term goals that they have set for their children. If we can speak to their immediate needs as parents first, then we can consider helping them see the value that church can provide beyond the short-term, meaning faith and community.

Here are some examples of events that might speak to the short-term goals that parents have for their children. The church can offer any of these as a means to an end.

  • SAT preparation and training
  • Leadership training for teens
  • After-school tutoring and mentoring
  • Personal training for sports programs
  • Driver’s education
  • Daddy/Mommy and me potty training classes (I’d go to this if the church offered it!)
  • Baby sitting

I’m just thinking outside of the box. As church, if we can provide a way to meet the short-term goals that parents have for their children, then maybe they will see the church as relevant and able to provide something that is more spiritual and lasting: faith in Christ.

Question: Does this seem realistic to you or not? Why?

 

Here is a summary of posts for “The How-To Guide To Engaging Our Parents in Ministry” series:

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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