1. Meet Regularly with the Senior Pastor
Simply put...over communicate. Make sure your senior pastor hears it from you before hearing it from someone else. "Pastor, the van window was broken during our last outing. I'm in the process of getting an estimate and I've contacted the parents of the students involved." Try emailing him your subject/Scripture text on Monday of each week. This tells him you're prepared for Wednesday and lets him know you're not always talking about sex with the students.
2. Build Relationships with Parents
Emailing them next month's calendar, detailing costs, times, and purpose will go a long way in earning parent's trust. Have parents meet you at church following a youth outing ahead of the bus arriving. Make sure you're there on time. This gives you an opportunity to tell the parents all about the event as you wait for the bus to arrive. This prevents parents from being frustrated as they wait. I saw this idea in Sticky Faith and it's a great resource. Order your copy at http://youth.ag.org/resources/.
3. Mentor Leaders
Realistically a leader can only be effective in discipling eight students. To have a youth group of 32, you'll need four good leaders. Spend time with your leaders, send them articles on youth ministry, podcasts, and invest in them with a good book on youth ministry every once in a while. Check http://momentum.ag.org for dozens of FREE articles and podcasts for leadership development.
4. Tell Stories
I read that youth leaders should have a 30 second, 3-minute and 30-minute story regarding their student ministry. You never know when you'll have opportunity to share and with whom. Doing announcements on Sunday? Tell a 30 second story. Ran across the Pastor or a board member? Tell a 3-minute story about one of the students. In a parent's gathering, unleash 30 minutes regarding what God is doing in the student's lives.
5. Visit Children's Church and the Nursery
Doing so lets parents know you're interested in the entire family and not just their teen, while they're in your ministry. This also allows the children to see your face and get excited about being with the youth leader. And finally, it indirectly shows you're in this for the long haul.
Follow Rod on Twitter @RodWhitlock