Do you have "cranky" people who serve as volunteers in your children's ministry? While this question may take you by surprise, it is a serious question. Sometimes because we are "desperate" for volunteers, we let people serve who could be described as, "cranky", but regardless of how much we need volunteers, we must not let "cranky" people serve. Consider the following . . .
- Little children in particular can end up frightened of going to their classes if their teacher is a "cranky" person.
- "Cranky" people typically do not have patience and children - especially younger children, need patience.
- "Cranky" people certainly do not reflect Jesus as He definitely was not cranky. We know this because, while the Bible does not say; "And He was not cranky", little children wanted to be around Him and they typically do not want to be around "cranky" people.
- "Cranky" people do not present the attitude or image we want parents and visitors, volunteers and children to see of our children's ministry.
So, I'm sure we can all agree, we do not want "cranky" people serving in our children's ministry, but what do we do if we have "cranky" people serving or who volunteer to serve in our ministries? This is a difficult situation, because we do not want to offend, hurt or discourage anyone from serving, but we also have to have a standard for those who do serve and certainly having an attitude which reflects Jesus' should be at the top of our list. If you have "cranky" people, consider the following . . .
- Pray. Pray. Pray. You absolutely need the mind of Jesus and His wisdom to deal with this in a graceful and loving way.
- You also have to be honest with people and if someone is "cranky", you need to be honest with them. Sit down and have a gentle, honest conversation. Talk with them about the "atmosphere" you want to see in your children's ministry and ask them how they might help you create this in their class.
- Pray more - preferably with the person who is "cranky".
- Ask them if they really enjoy serving in this area/age level - they may be serving out of a sense of "duty". Perhaps there is another area where they would be able to serve with joy.
- Pray more.
There are no easy answers for this, because you are dealing with people. While you want your ministry to reflect Jesus and show His love and grace, you also want to reflect Jesus' love and show His grace to those who serve; including those who may be "cranky".
How have you dealt with this in your ministry?