In one of youth ministry classes in college, we had to create a parent newsletter that could be used in our future ministry. At the time, I remember thinking sending out a parent newsletter is probably something I will not do, but now that I in ministry and have my own parents to think about, I have changed my mind. One of the things I did as soon as I got into this position was get all the parent’s contact info (e-mail, phone numbers, address) and communicate with them that they will receive a monthly electronic newsletter that will provide details on that months activities, resources to help them be parents, and a quick not from myself. So today I sent out our first parent e-mail newsletter for the month of April! I’ll be honest, it can become a burden and just another thing on your list to do, but I believe they are helpful and worth your time. Here are a few thoughts on creating a parent newsletter for your student ministry:
1. Decide how often the newsletter will go out. In my ministry, we are only sending a parent newsletter out once a month. In that newsletter, I try to cover all the details of that month so I don’t have to send out multiple e-mails throughout the month. One of my student pastor friends sends their newsletter out once a week. Everyone does it differently, but the point is to get it out and have a cycle it stays on. I would suggest sending one out at least once a month.
2. Find a good program. There are tons of programs out there you can use to make this task a little easier on yourself. The most popular right now is probably Mailchimp. I know of a lot of student pastors who are currently using it for their newsletters. Personally, I am using the iWorks program Pages on my Mac to design our newsletters. Once I design one, I export it as a PDF and send it out as an attachment in an e-mail to the parents. This isn’t the best and always fastest way to do it, but for me it works for now.
3. Do more than just give details. The main thing you want to do in your newsletter is give parents all the details they need, but don’t stop there! Throw in other creative things like movie reviews, music reviews, parenting resources, student interviews, and other things that allow you to equip your parents. Parents will get tired of just looking at details, give them something to look forward to each time the newsletter is sent to them.
4. Don’t worry about getting the newsletter out to students. Most students don’t use e-mail so don’t worry about trying to get them to review the newsletter. I would suggest make it a “Parent Newsletter” that is designed just for parents. Use social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and texting to communicate details to your students. If you do have a Facebook or Twitter account for your student ministry, send out your newlsetter through that as well incase people miss it through their e-mails.
These are just a few thoughts on creating a parents newsletter for your student ministry. It is worth the time to put together a newsletter for your parents. It will become one of the best ways to communicate all the crazy details of student ministry to them.