Your View of Parents

Kara Powell | Apr 28, 2011

Today I fly from teaching an Assessment course in Denver to Atlanta for the Orange Conference. I’ve been a cheerleader for the Orange philosophy since reading Reggie Joiner’s “Think Orange” book in December 2009. As I think about the conference, I’m reminded of how much I appreciated about Reggie’s book, so I’m reposting a few blogs from December 2009 that capture some of what I appreciate most about the book. This blog called “Your View of Parents” is from December 9, 2009…

Ive been reading Reggie Joiners great book, Think Orange, and one of his not-so-subtle themes is the way our expectations of others influence their behavior. He writes to leaders, Your perception of parents potential to change can drive how you respond to them.

So many times we as youth workers are judgmental of parents, instead of believing that they love their kids and want the best for their kids.

Reggie gives a helpful continuum to describe different levels of parent/leader partnerships:

AWARE parents are concerned about a particular situation or development. These parents are outside the church but open to it, and theyre interested in becoming better parents.

INVOLVED parents have a basic or entry-level relationship with the church. Even if its just bringing their kids to church, these parents are taking steps to influence kids spiritually.

ENGAGED parents are committed to partnering with the church. They are growing in their relationship with God and assume some responsibility for spiritual leadership in the home.

INVESTED parents proactively devote time and energy to partnering with the church. They understand the strategy of your ministry and are in community with Christian parent groups.

What would it look like to try to help parents move one level deeper in their partnership with you? From aware to involvedfrom involved to engagedfrom engaged to invested

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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