Recently, I led 2 high school ministry events that kept students out past midnight. I broke the cardinal rule of student ministry.
Both events started late in the evening - both concerts - both explicitly Christian.
Afterward, one of my high school group leaders approached me and asked, "How did you get away with this?" To which I responded, "I didn't just get away with it. For four years, I have been working tirelessly to earn the respect and trust of parents. That is why I can do events like this." And the dividends of doing so pay off huge.
But not just for fun events. Earned respect and trust allow the student ministry of our church to extend 10 times further than it could if I ran a solo operation without the inclusion of parents. How so, you might wonder? Once parents see you as for their family, not against it, then parents WANT to share with other parents about a program that meets the felt needs of their student, while honoring the values of their family.
Indeed - as contrary as this may sound to student ministry leaders - parents are your most valuable asset.