The Power of Curbside Service in Building Sticky Faith Families

Kara Powell | Mar 12, 2013

I love the ideas we at the Fuller Youth Institute get from amazing parents and leaders. At the recent Simply Youth Ministry Conference, I was struck by the simplicity and brilliance of an idea shared by a youth leader at our Sticky Faith track.

We were discussing a question that often emerges in our Sticky Faith presentations with youth leaders: How do I try to partner with parents who aren’t part of our church, especially those who drop off their kids and never even meet me?

One leader sitting in the back of the room raised his hand and explained, “Well, I stand on the curb in front of our church before every youth group meeting. I’m there to greet students and parents. When students are hopping out of the car, I have a chance to at least introduce myself to parents. Sometimes we get into longer conversations, and I even learn how I can be praying for them.”

The power of curbside service!

As you think about the Sticky Faith goals you’re wanting to accomplish (especially those related to stronger connections with parents and your overall church), try asking yourself a few questions:

  1. Where can I, and other leaders, stand/sit/talk before our meetings that will help us move toward our goals?

  2. How about after our meetings?

  3. What are the other ways parents intersect with our ministry, or our building, even if only for a few moments? How can we leverage those connections?

How else have you tried to build deeper relationships with families who drop off their kids, or maybe never even get that close to your church facility?

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.


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