Building partnerships with Church Leadership

This is one that people forget about, but it’s good to remember to build partnerships with your parish leadership. Especially when Confirm not Conform is a new program, you’re going to want the vestry’s support. Otherwise, when you get to the end of the program and the kids are making their presentation, the vestry will say, “What’s this about?” and it will take a lot longer to get the church leaders to understand and buy in to what you’re doing.

This isn’t something that requires a lot of time or meetings. My suggestion is that you update the vestry by giving a blurb to the rector (or whoever you think is best) to be read into the minutes. Keep it short. But let them know anything of interest that’s going on—especially when it involves the whole church.

For example, after the retreat you can report that X number of kids went on the CnC retreat in such-and-such a place, and that their sacred space projects will be displayed in the fellowship hall on such-and-such a date. It just clues them in to how what’s going on in CnC relates to what’s going on in the church as a whole.

Another way to build partnership with the vestry is to make sure that the senior warden or another representative is there to sign the Commitment Pledge, then make a copy of that commitment and get it to the next vestry meeting. Doing this encourages the Vestry to take CnC seriously, just as we ask youth, parents, and mentors to take it seriously.

Hopefully, they will see that what’s going on in CnC is part of the parish and not something being done off in the youth ministry corner. We’ve found over and over that CnC is a congregational development program. When you keep the vestry updated, they will begin to get the idea that youth ministry is not some nice little add on because you happen to have teenagers in your church; it’s a really vital part of the church as a whole.

Building partnerships with mentors

Building partnerships with parents