Connecting with Parents and Families

We all have family roots. Our families may be sources of joy or pain, pride or shame, comfort or tension. But our family backgrounds always shape us.

“Familia” is vitally important in Latino culture. Until you know our families (or at least know some of our family story), you don’t know us. Learning about a student’s family is essential to making a meaningful connection with them.

What can you do now that you know this?

  1. Meet with people’s parents and families. If their parents and families live nearby or are visiting campus, invite them to join you for a meal. You could host them in your home or plan to go to a restaurant together. Share a positive insight about their son or daughter. Invite them to share stories. Listen to them.As a side bonus, planters who take time to get to know people’s parents and families have a much easier time recruiting for conferences and leadership events. 
  2. Ask the students about their parents and families.Sometimes, people’s parents are just too far away for you to meet (or the students don’t know you well enough for a “meet the parents” time to not feel awkward). In the meantime, you can ask them to share stories about their family. Our First Meetings Discipleship Cycle has sample questions that can help you have this conversation (Click here and see p. 20).Pro tip: Share about your family too! 
  3. Pray for the students’ parents and families.How do you view your planting ministry? You are definitely a blessing to the new students you’re meeting on campus. But you’re also a blessing to the parents and families to which each of those students is connected. When you pray for the students you’re meeting, ask God to bless their families too. In this way, you’ll be connected with them even if you never meet them.


image credit:Daniel Lopez

Steve Tamayo serves as the Special Projects Director for LaFe, InterVarsity’s Latino Fellowship. He’s married to Amy and together they have two sons, Will and Jack. Steve is also the Associate Pastor at Chatham Community Church.

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