This was the second year I was invited to serve as a coach at the annual Children’s Pastor’s Conference sponsored by International Network of Children’s Ministry. It’s one of the many highlights of the entire week. INCM does a fabulously thorough job of training coaches to be great listeners to direct our fellow children’s ministry champions to understand they each have what it takes to fulfill God’s call on their lives where He’s called them to serve. With forms in hand to better clarify our time together, we begin our thirty-minute session diving into the deep end of being new to children’s ministry or whatever has him/her stuck.
Communication among staff was the common topic shared at my table. These are a few thoughts we shared together:
First, ask these inquiries of fellow staff members/pastor(s):
1. What is the best way to communicate with you?
2. What’s off limits?
3. Tell me about the best children’s ministry leader you ever worked with.
These three inquiries are good to ask of new staff members, as well, after he/she has been there a couple of days. And always come bearing a gift of some logo-ed swag or a tasty beverage from Quick Trip.
Second, when setting a meeting date for a face-to-face or phone call, follow it up with an email, “As per our conversation today in the hallway, let’s confirm we will meet next Tuesday (date), at (time), at (location.) Will that still work for you?” It’ll give time to check schedules and get a response that you heard properly. Then follow up with a text the morning of the afternoon meeting or the evening before a morning meeting. If a text reminder works for the dentist, it’ll surely work for you. Once confirmed, do your very best to not make changes. To make changes tells your colleague/pastor that your time is more important than his/hers, and it’s unprofessional and disrespectful. If it happens to you, make it a matter of prayer and forgive so your head can move on. We have an enemy who doesn’t want church staff to work well or be unified in purpose and it’s NOT your fellow staff member/pastor(s).
Third, pray for favor in the eyes, heart, and mind of your fellow staff member/pastor(s) for yourself and the ministry you lead. This may sound silly, but I also pray that the Lord would lead the staff member/pastor to like me. Yeah! It’s totally okay to ask in prayer that people would like you. Pray also that you would like him/her. The Body of Christ is better when working together in community which means we must talk and communicate well with one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord.
What would you add?
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13