Promotion provides unique opportunities to engage kids, particularly when moving from one environment or phase to the next. It’s our hope to capture their imagination for this next stage of their life and engage them on a completely different level. We know that if we can stay connected with them through these challenging transitions, we can continue to foster healthy spiritual growth for years to come.
Promotion Sunday is also an incredible opportunity to engage with parents at a highly strategic time. Kids promoting to a new ministry area is a significant time when parents are leaning in to understand what this new environment and phase will be like for their kids. We can take advantage of the moment and connect with parents in meaningful ways.
- A well executed promotion will get a parents attention. Let me explain. Well executed promotion happens when my child is excited to move up and wants to come to church. I have kids at every stage and it’s a big deal when they want to come to church. It captures my attention!
- Kids are changing at these key transitions and parents don’t always understand the implications. You’ve worked with kids transitioning from one age group to the next for years – but for a parent, this might be their first experience. This is a great time to cast vision to parents about how their kids will be changing mentally, emotionally, relationally and developmentally. When we help parents prepare for what’s coming, we build trust.
- Communicate to parents what partnership could look like. Many churches talk about partnering with parents, but there’s little substance beyond emails and take-home resources. Lay out a strategy and a plan for partnership and follow through with it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to create something entirely new, but just communicate how what you’re already doing connects to an overall strategy to help them with their kids and they’re more likely to buy in.
- Invite parents to be involved. Parents are never more curious about what you do than when their kids are transitioning. This could be the perfect opportunity to invite them to participate. Maybe it’s a small role where they serve/support when needed. Convince a parent that you want to partner with them and they’re likely to show up however you need them.
It’s important to transition kids well and to do so in a way that helps them stick, but don’t miss the opportunity to transition parents too! Particularly when promoting children from preschool to grade school, or grade school to middle school. These bigger “phase” promotions will create organic opportunities to cast vision to and engage with parents in a meaningful way that will impact both the ministry and the kids we hope to disciple.
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