Kara's Plea as a Mom: Do a Better Job Than I Have with Students' Parents

Kara Powell | Jul 30, 2012

Now that I’m a mom of an 11 year-old, I’ve crossed the line and become a parent who sends their child away to camp for a week. This summer, Nathan is going to two weeklong camps: one with Boy Scouts (which he did last week) and one with our church (which is next week).

Last week during Boy Scout camp, I can’t tell you how many times I wondered how he was doing. How many times I prayed for him. How many times I walked past his bedroom, especially at night or in the morning, and missed him.

On Thursday of last week, one of the Boy Scout leaders who’s at camp with Nathan and his buddies sent an e.mail with an update on his troop. It was 4 paragraphs. It mentioned no kids by name, so it didn’t really tell me how Nathan is doing.

I read it twice.

Now that I’m a parent, I know how it feels to send a child to camp for a week. I know what it’s like to miss my child and wonder how he’s doing, even though I’m pretty sure he’s doing just fine. I know how it feels to wait in the church parking lot, so excited to see your child step off the bus.

Leaders, please do a better job updating your students’ parents when they’re on trips with you. I did so little of that as a church youth pastor, and it was a mistake. A big one. I could have built so much credibility and good will with parents if I had kept them better informed, especially when I had their kids overnight for one or more nights.

Supporting families means good communication. A few paragraph e.mail, a few tweets, a handful of texts all go a long way. Take it from me. I’m a mom.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.