This one was very difficult for me to do. This year I started over with a new group of Freshmen. Their parents were very cordial and involved, in a healthy way. Several of them offered to send desserts or help out in any way we needed.

I absolutely love making desserts. I actually have a philosophy on the subject. Nothing happens in my Life Group by accident, unless it’s a God-thing. I believe desserts should be amazing and homemade because it may be the only homemade dish a student gets in a week. It also shows a level of caring if it gets dished out into a students bowl by a leader. As the saying goes, “The way to a [student’s] heart is through his stomach.”

I very reluctantly took parents up on their offer. I even setup an online calendar they could sign up on for our weekly desserts… hoping they wouldn’t. They did. I haven’t provided any desserts this year.

One week a parent sent 5 glorious dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. All of them got eaten. My boys were bouncing off the walls. Sometimes a well-meaning mom will send store bought cookies. That’s not what I would prefer, but the benefit far outweighs the let down.

Here’s why this is the best thing ever: By allowing parents to have some ownership in Life Group, I have a greater opportunity to get to connect with them and know them better. Youth ministry done right includes not just the student, but the family connected to the student. Knowing the families better means I know the students better.

Also published on Medium.