Monday, April 09, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about how I use XP3 every week (check it out). In that post I wrote about how I use the curriculum with my students on the nitty gritty week-in/week-out level. But I also wanted to share with you, how I use it as more of a strategy, rather than simply a curriculum.
Ultimately, any curriculum is only going to be as good as the work that you put into making it good. And if I'm thinking Orange, then I realize that two combined influences will make a greater impact, than just two influences.
So here are some of the ways that I use XP3 to Think Orange:
Every Monday morning I send out an email to my parents with announcements and all that good stuff, but I make sure to include the Parent CUE materials, and a summary of what that week's lesson is all about. I use MailChimp to send these out, which helps me track the effectiveness of the content that I'm sending, and who's opening it up, and who's not. Here's an example of this week's email.
Every Wednesday afternoon I send out a text to parents with one simple question. If you ask most parents what's the first question that they ask their son or daughter when they get in the car after youth group, it's probably "how was it?" or "did you have fun?" With the ParentCUE text I am able to give them one question based on that night's discussion that they have on their phone to spark a conversation on the way home.
I have a theory that a simple 5-10 min conversation with a parent in the car on the way home will trump whatever was said that night in youth group. Why not leverage that influence in a way to reinforce what God wants for their son or daughter to be learning?
There are a bunch of mass-texting options out there. I use Textmarks. It's free with ads, but I've never had a sketchy ad.
Once to twice a year we invite our students' parents to join us for our regular youth meetings. We set up tables and chairs, do worship the way we usually do, random videos, promo videos for events, announcements, games and everything like we would normally do for just our students, but their parents are there as well. Then the lesson is written to lead their family into a discussion. We partner up 1-2 families to then have discussions based on the lesson.
This is probably one of my favorite nights. To sit back and watch a mom or dad engage in conversation around a spiritual topic with their son or daughter with questions designed for discovery and relationship is incredible.
This is a night that we also get info on the families of students who don't normally attend out adult services. We're able to add them to our ParentCUE Email list and get them to subscribe to the ParentCUE Texts, as well. Plus it gives them a face to put with those crazy adults who hang out with their students.
We also try different ways to introduce the small group leaders to the families of the students that are in their group. Another added bonus of this night.
These are just a few of the ways that I use XP3 to Think Orange. I'd love to hear how you custom tailor XP3 or whatever you use to partner with families.