Re Think Your Handouts
A new day has dawned for the church handout paper. The name says it all. Hand “outs” not Hand “in’s. Years ago the odds of a child coming every Sunday to church was in fact a possibility. Back then, volunteers might ask to return a handout for a prize or a star. Those days are gone. Stop! The average full time attendance for a family is 2 x weeks a month. Custody issues are as high as 40% in your ministry so many kids can’t be there each week. With that in mind, you’ve got to re-think the strategy of a paper handout. It is simply a Cue for parents (like a baton hand off in a team relay) to know what was covered in their child’s ministry area. It’s a tool for parents to continue conversations as they do life.
What’s driving parents today? Life. Work. Finances. Pressure. Relationships. Wait, that seems like the same things as 50 years ago! Yes, parents today deal with a lot of the same issues as generations past. What’s in their heart? Love for their kids. I believe all parents want the best for their kids. Like generations past, someone at church took the time to give parents a prompt to talk more too. I say we give the copy machine a rest. It’s been through a lot in the past 50 years.
Let’s re-think about HOW we HANDOUT. You want impact. Think about HOW it’s delivered. For most paper handouts, they are lovely décor additions to their back seats where they stay. It’s time to re think how to get this info to parents to help them influence their child’s heart. Leaders today now have a gold mine of ways to share info with parents to be partners with them as families do life.
I give you the Smart phone. Send them an encouraging reminder as they start their week to look for great opportunities to talk about Sunday’s lesson. Text parents during the week with some encouragement! Share the Parent Cue app as resource for your families. Its an amazing tool for those who use Orange. Parents can have everything at their fingertips- wherever they go- to talk more about Sunday. Those moments can happen at any moment. That’s the beauty of the power of the smart phone. Parents can use the dentist office waiting room, or waiting to be seated in a restaurant, or bedtime and use the Parent Cue app. (Check out doministrybetter.com for some great tools to customize that app for your team to impact parents and equip your small group leaders).
Lean in to the influence of Social Media. Your parents know this and are savvy! Set up a monthly social media plan (on the the 252 Basics Blog each month) to help parents and kids. Texts can be a ministry tool once or twice a week. Use the tiles for you’re your church Facebook page. Super EZ. Super beneficial. Point parents to your church website. Is your site simple and EZ? Lose all the fancy wording about your ministry. Focus on impact as they visit your site. And post quick helpful info please for those busy parents. . Post handouts and devotionals there each week. Gather practical helps and ideas right where they are in the pressures of parenting. That’s partnership. That’s Handouts 2.0