In the article I've been "tweeking" from an article about marriage to one about Children's Ministry, the author said if we call our spouse names, we are "blowing" our marriage. He is right. The same is true in Children's Ministry. If we call names . . . or "label" people, we are "blowing" our Children's Ministry. So, how and when might you "label" people? Consider the following . . .
- When we refer to some children as, "difficult". While there could be - and likely are - children who require more intentional focus from us, if we label them with any negative label, they will live up - or down - to the label we give them.
- When we refer to parents in any negative way. Again, there certainly could be - and likely are - parents who are not involved and/or who tend to respond in a more negative way, however; if we label them with any negative label, it will hinder our ability to work with them to help their children grow to know and walk with God.
- When we refer to some volunteers in any negative way. Once again, while there could be volunteers who do not prepare or who have a more negative attitude, when we label them with any negative label, it will damage their ministry and ours.
- When we refer to leaders in the church with any negative label. While it may be true some of the leaders in the church are not actually very interested in the Children's Ministry, we set a bad example and build walls where we could and should be working together to serve children and families.
These are just a few examples of how and when we might be "labeling" people and when we do this, we are "blowing" our Children's Ministry.
So what can we do for a "do-over" if we have been labeling anyone? It is pretty simple. First of all apologize to those you have labeled and to anyone you have gossiped to and shared your label of others. Then commit to be careful of the words and labels you use and to love others as you love yourself.
And the benefit to being someone who does not use any negative labels for others? The "atmosphere" of your ministry will be one where people are able to see and experience the love Jesus calls us to show!
What do you do to be aware of any labeling and how do you keep from using negative labels in your Children's Ministry?