It may be helpful to explain two very divergent approaches for Creatives. The first is the deductive approach called Reductionism—“How does this work?” The emphasis is upon taking something apart to determine how it works. The second is the additive approach called Emergence—“What is this?” This is based on the formula: A + B = C. When one thing is added to something else, it becomes yet another entity.
We are impressed with Kidmin who are creative. We enjoy the fruit of their creativity. However, our Creative God made us like Him, creative! So we have the ability to create. Creativity is not a gift or a talent. It is, however, a way of operating. So, if we practice some creative habits, we too, could experience creativity in our ministry. Creativity is an act of the will. By deliberately adding your skills and talents to the practice of creative habits, creativity will emerge!
Here are Six Creative Habits that Creatives Use.
1. Work at Mastering your Talent and Skills Creatives make the time to master their talents/skills. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s research in his book Outliers, he projects that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a talent or skill, whether it is a sport, writing, art, singing, storytelling or magic. This means that the accumulation of experience matters for Creatives. They do not quit—they keep trying. By adding mastery to your talents and skills, something emerges!
2. Discover How New Ideas Happen for YOU Creatives understand how new and fresh ideas come to them. They are very aware how the mind and body work to produce solutions to problems. Rising early seems to be common to most Creatives. They have found when these idea-friendly times occur. Creatives master these idea-producing techniques. They keep repeating them, and when they do, something always emerges!
3. Capture Ways to Record Your Ideas Creatives have deliberate ways to collect their new ideas. They even know when the creative ideas come in their day: driving, sleeping, walking, etc. They might use 3 x 5 cards, a note pad, a white board, a journal, a recording device, a smart phone or other such capturing techniques. They are always prepared for an idea and have a quick way to capture it. I have made notebooks, even written journals. For several months I purposed to invent a new magic trick every week. When you add retrieval systems (or Evernote) to your talents and skills, something emerges.
4. Designate A Creative Space—the Work Place! The work place is where creative work happens! It can be the office, a workshop, a special chair or even a serene quiet research-type environment. Some Creatives require a clean spacious work place, while others work best in clutter with resources all around them. But what is common to all Creatives? They know the environment where they are most productive. Add the right work place to your talents and skills, and something will emerge!
5. Find a Network of Like-Minded Creatives It helps to be in relationship with other Creatives, like our selves. It stimulates creative ideas. The cross-pollinating of ideas is a fertile garden for harvesting creative projects. Sharing your process helps to get feedback. Engaging in a creative network with your talents and skills, something emerges!
6. Prune Your Efforts: Eliminate and Concentrate We all have the same amount of time in a day. Creatives tend to eliminate time wasters and have the ability to concentrate their efforts on the creative process to produce results. Anything that is a distraction or a time robber is somehow eliminated. They tend to remove themselves to work in isolation. Being able to eliminate distraction and concentrate on your talents and skills, something emerges!
Challenge: By adding these habits to your process you can increase your creative ability and something will emerge. Are you aware of the time you are putting into mastering your skills and talents? Experiment with how new ideas come you. Have you noticed any patterns? Do you have a way to capture ideas? Are you sharing your ideas with others who are likeminded? Are you able to remove yourself from distraction and those who can rob your best efforts? Work your ideas!
B. Kinard ©2013, Rights reserved, www.Kidhelper.com
Did you know there are 7,000 varieties of apples in the world? But they are all apples! Did you know there are over 1,000 varieties of bananas? But they are all bananas! Every fruit is a unique kind, but each kind has multiple varieties. When I have traveled overseas, I have encountered varieties of fruit common to here, but very different in size, color and shape.
Like these kinds of fruits, there are different varieties of ministries. This summer I attended a Luis Palau Conference with 150 evangelists. I noticed that all these evangelists had difference expressions of evangelism. Even though there were different manifestations of their giftedness—they were all very gifted evangelists! This diversity creates their unique identity—how they become known.
This is also true among children’s ministers. Not all children’s ministers are the same. There are varieties in children’s ministry, but by the same Spirit who manifests diversity among us. Much of children’s ministry is very much alike from church to church. However, the longer we serve the more our uniqueness shows up.
What is your unique identity or your signature contribution to children’s ministry? For some this identity comes quickly, for others it is a process that takes time. Usually, we have some help with this. Others speak up about who we are and what we do. However, once we find it, this identity becomes the content of your “Marketing Brand.”
So here some things to consider that might help you identify your unique brand of ministry to children.
1. Find a Creative Name This name becomes the “essence” of you—what you do in the world of kids. It needs to be unique. It needs to identify you and the “niche” that you can fill in the Kidmin world—not a copy of someone else’s brand. This can take some time in ministry to discover, but a great find! (Kidhelper, Kidologist, Storylady, Kidartologist, Kidmagnet)
2. Visually Represent Your Name Identity Find a photo, a graphic, or a logo. This avatar will be your quick reference brand that is always about you. You want it to stand out and not be confused with others.
3. Discover a Tagline, Slogan or a Subtitle. This by-line kind of tag that modifies or explains your brand name—what you are really about. Go to your own personal vision for this—hopefully, it is related. Example: Encourage and Equip children’s ministry leaders!
4. Develop Meaningful Graphics These words could be symbolized in a graphic or avatar. Then it can be used in brochures and publications describing your identity graphically. This features the memorable aspects of your brand, so that it stands out. This is like a “visual stamp” that identifies you and your brand.
5. Find Repetitive References The challenge is to make use of your logo, tagline, graphic in all your printed material. (i.e., stationery, business card, letterhead, brochures, flyers, and social media, email, Internet, etc.)
6. Describe your Services Honestly Find a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is what you advertise and market. Be sure followers feel you lived up to your brand promises. If you’re a one-person business, your brand personality might resonate with your personality.
7. Stand for Professionalism Set a high standard when using your branding. Live up to your slogans and promises. It is better to under promise, and over deliver. Avoid promoting what you do not have in place. There is a big difference between what you want to do and what you have a track record of actually doing.
Challenge: Pray for your brand, and develop this identity! Once you find it, embrace it. It will grow with you.
B. Kinard ©2013, Rights reserved, www.Kidhelper.com
In Torrance, CA there is this Tackle Shop that has this advertising slogan on their Signage: “We Make Fishing More Catching.” I have thought about this as a slogan for children’s evangelists. It has been my purpose to make fishing more catching. It is not my personal resolve to just “feed the fish.” After all Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you, fishers of men.” For me, making you is equal to making fishing more about “catching.”
Therefore, any serious student of fishing soon becomes aware that certain methods seem to make fishing more about catching. Having a tackle box full of your best “top-notch,” “sure-fire” equipment, does not guarantee the well-intentioned fisherman will catch fish. Obviously, some technique and skill are required! However, having plenty of good tackle options, surely, could help. Having the right lure, for the right time, for the right fish is good fishing savvy.
We can take some lessons from fishing in Children’s Ministry. Our lures are the visuals aids that both teach and reach kids for Christ. Having a toolbox filled and ready for any time use is the issue of being prepared.
When I attend conferences and workshops on children’s ministry I usually make it my goal to learn about one new “lure” that I can take home to use in my ministry. You could acquire many more than one, for sure, but to master just one—the best one—is more challenging. (Rather than buying a lot and not using them.)
So let’s just check out some of our time-tested fishing lures. Adding these items to your Tackle Box is readiness for Fishing—Making Fishing More Catching!
1. Begin collecting a few really good object lessons you can use anytime, anywhere.
2. Put into your repertoire twelve awesome gospel magic tricks.
3. Learn and be prepared to sing six children’s choruses anytime.
4. Rehearse and be ready to tell six illustrated Bible Stories for children.
5. Have a least six good, clean jokes for children ready to share—whenever.
6. Learn a couple of routines that you can use by twisting balloons.
7. Build a collection of six “Droodles” that you can draw to engage the curiosity of kids.
8. Learn a couple of number puzzles that you can use with paper and pencil.
9. Collect a couple of pocket games that you can use anytime with kids.
10. Find and be ready to perform six pocket gospel magic tricks.
11. Learn one routine to use for a Peeper Finger Puppet.
12. Learn and master one coin trick that you can use anytime. (Scotch and Soda, French Drop)
13. Work on one-rope magic trick you can use anytime, anywhere.
14. Master the use of the Wordless Book and get a Flipper Flapper.
15. Get an EvangeCube in your repertoire.
Here is an issue! The diversity of “whiz-bang” lures in your Tackle box will not catch kids! You have to do that! Not every lure is good for every kid. You have to experiment with what works—when and were. Some lures are not Gospel lures—they are just effective attention getting lures that might always work for attracting kids. Some kids you attract will not be caught—someone else may get those. You have to ask God to lead you to the kids that He has prepared for you and then you get to select just the right lure to catch them for Jesus. Pray that you will catch these little wigglers!
Challenge: Here are some ways to acquire more expertise in your fishing by adding some lures to your tackle box. Add these and add some effective gospel lures (see Pocket Tools).
Let’s Make Fishing More Catching!
B. Kinard ©2013, Rights reserved, www.Kidhelper.com
Catching Little Wigglers
While in elementary school, I lived in Encinitas, CA. I have memories of my Father taking my two younger brothers and I on a fishing trip to the Colorado River. My father used his deep sea fishing gear and us boys only had lightweight tackle. Dad used big hooks and big pieces of bait. He was attempting to catch a large river catfish (channel cat). He cast his line way out in the middle of the river. His heavy sinkers took his tempting bait to the bottom. Then he waited hopefully.
Meanwhile, us boys could only fish the edge of the river with small hooks and tiny mill worms. As the day progressed us boys continued to catch bluegill and crappie—nothing over 6-7 inches long. At days end, we had a stringer full of little wigglers—my Dad caught nothing. That night around the campfire we ate our little fish, which was plenty. We began teasing my Dad about his lack of fish—comparing our haul to his. What a day! This was my first experience catching “little wigglers.” I had no idea how symbolic that experience would be for the rest of my life.
When Jesus called the disciples to follow Him, He said, “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” What Jesus said to me, “Follow me and I will make you a fisherman of little wigglers.” So I began to prepare myself for the high calling of evangelistic ministry of catching children. Now after more than fifty years of fishing experience with kids, I have the following observations about children’s evangelism.
1. The Need for Children’s Evangelists is Great! The need for evangelists to concentrate on children is greater than I ever imagined. There are few full-time children’s Evangelists. There is a great need for men to reach kids. Who will respond to this high calling?
2. We Cannot Catch Fish in the Bathtub. We have to go where they are. The need is not only in the United States, but children all over the world need the Savior. There are great schools of children in far away places that take special expeditions to reach. Some are in the shallows—tucked away. Look for them.
3. We Need to Catch the Fish, Not Feed the Fish It is not good enough to be content to teach the children the gospel. We must also secure a personal faith response to claims of the gospel for them to be evangelized. It’s not what they know; it’s who they know. The difference between “teaching” and “reaching” children is not semantics. It’s life or death.
4. Vision for Catching Many Includes One Fish Those who are passionate about fishing are all about catching the next fish—whether there are more or not. I have gone to a lot of work for just one. Sure, there are times to reach hundreds, but the test of passion for catching little wigglers is measured in reaching one.
5. We Need to Choose Appropriate Lures By concentrating on good gospel methods that work with children, we can better reach them. There are more super-duper, sure-fire gospel methods available today than any other time in history. We need to reallocate our arsenal of gospel lures where needed most—where there are none. Resource centers are needed in strategic places to help the kid-fishermen.
6. We Need to Adapt our Fishing Methodology Reaching different kinds of children from different religious backgrounds requires different kinds of methodology, i.e., camp work, city-wide events, performing arts, or personal work. We need to choose the most effective method to reach these kinds of kids.
7. We Need to Catch and Clean the Fish This “cleaning” is really about discipleship and follow-up of those we catch. We do not want to neglect newborns. We need to evangelize where the greatest potential for nurture and training can occur. Working with existing ministries matters for Kingdom extension.
8. We Need a Revival of Child Evangelism We need a strong sustained revival emphasis on reaching children of the world. To reach these kids we need another generation of fishermen who are passionate about catching little wigglers.
Challenge: Cast out your nets! Let’s go fishing for Little Wigglers! Catching a child means they have their whole life to live for God. Reaching children is a long-term investment. To influence a nation for Jesus, we must reach the next generation of children now.
B. Kinard ©2013, Rights reserved
Tony Kummer at Ministry-to-Children.com has compiled a list of top 100 children’s ministry blogs! Again this year Kidhelper.com has made the list of the top 100 kidmin blogs. I have been doing some serious revision of our Kidology Coaching Handbook, so my posting has dropped some. However, my writing project is almost complete. I will soon return to more active blogging. I am grateful to be included again. There are so many really good blog sites now. It is nice to see such quality written materials available for those in Children’s Ministry.
Take some time to check into some of these great children’s ministry sites. The Top 100 Kidmin Blogs
Leaders: Art of Restart
Because we work with people who sin, we understand something of the role of confession and forgiveness…this is a restart. For a person to put their life back together and move forward in right living, we extend some room to learn and some trial and error time.
In our leadership roles we should extend our selves this same wiggle room. When we stop doing what works, we go adrift, get stuck or stall out in our effectiveness.
It might just take time to relearn or recalibrate the way it went down. In short, it might take a restart—a second chance, if you will. Take a little time the let the error of your ways sink in, and then take steps to make it right. Most people respect someone who does, says or acts wrong, if they show they are learning, admitting error, asking for forgiveness, even repenting, taking some responsibility, attempting to change and/or make it right. Give your self this same courtesy, and try again.
There are some other words for restart, reset, reboot and a do over. They all involve doing it over from the beginning. For computers it is a reboot, for racing a restart, and for electricity turning it off and on again, is a reset. In cosmetology, they call it a do over. Much like our leadership Restarting is a function of getting a second chance, a makeover, right?
Here, I would like to remind you of at least Ten Areas in your leadership that might need a restart. Check it out…
By Barney Kinard
Christmas greetings to you! Here is an assortment of ideas to make Christmas more meaningful for your family. Select the ideas that seem appropriate to your family’s needs and interests. Trying one new idea could start a family tradition for your family.
1. Kids Decorate Their Rooms.
Of course, you will need to help the younger ones. Keep it simple, but meaningful. Try a creche on top of the dresser or a string of lights or make a creative village scene.
2. Make Birthday Cards for Jesus.
You can feature the different names of Jesus based upon Isaiah 9:6. You can do this on poster board or some index cards.
3. Make a Christmas Mural or Banner.
Provide a blank piece of butcher paper or white felt and create your own version of the Christmas story, i.e., creche scene, Christmas banner, Christmas tree-base cloth, or poster.
4. Decorate Your Windows.
Paint your front window with poster paint. Free form designs look very festive when light shine through. You select the appropriate window(s) and how much window to paint.
5. Design Your Own Christmas Cards.
You could design an original one just for grandparents or special family friends. You can remake cards by cutting up old cards.
6. Frame Your Children’s Pictures.
These make excellent and memorable gifts for adult relatives. You might want to add their school picture to it.
7. Try the “Secret Pal” Drawing.
Draw names within your family on the first Sunday of Advent, and then all during the advent season do special favors for this “secret pal.” On Christmas Eve (Dec 24), reveal your secret person to one another.
8. Go “Christmasing!”
This is where you gather gifts of baked goodies and deliver them to the neighbors and friends of your children. It is a wonderful time for the children to visit friends and see other homes at Christmas.
9. Go Caroling with Others!
It is a good time for sharing the good news of Christ coming with the familiar music of the season. You might visit those who are home alone (without family) or visit a convalescent home. Consider going with another family.
10. Include Others in Your Celebrations.
Are you aware of persons who would appreciate being included in your family celebrations? Is there someone in your church family” who needs a visit? Christmas can be a really lonely time for some. Include others with your family.
11. Giving of “Yourselves”
Children can give “work coupons” to parents (i.e., I will clean the garage; or I will dust the living room.) and parents can give their children gifts of their time (i.e., I will give you one hour of my time; or I promise to take you to one ball game.) Coupon books really work! Coupon books last a long time.
12. Have a Special “Jesus Present” Box.
Deposit the slips of paper here with a description of a “loving deed” that was done. Then on Christmas Day you read the “loving deeds” that were done for Jesus. Thank God for His indescribable gift and for chances to share His love to others.
13. Here is a “Bold Idea!”
What would happen if you limited your gift buying to only one gift per family member and then asked God to show you how you could use the extra money to proclaim the good news of Savior? You could adopt a needy family or a mission organization.
This is just a thought.
14. Write a Letter to Jesus!
Thank Him for all your gifts and especially the gift of Himself coming for us.
15. Let us Remember Church Leaders
You child could be encouraged to choose or make a gift for his Sunday school teacher, pastor, or another church leader. Allow the children to wrap the gift themselves. It might be framed artwork or a picture.
16. Make Room for More!
In preparation for Christmas, clean out the closets, drawers and toy boxes of your children. Plan together what could be given away to a child who could really use these extra clothes and toys. Deliver the “love package” together. This makes room for new presents.
17. Try A Variation of the Nativity Set!
You could put a different figure in front of a family member’s plate at dinner. That evening ask each person to share what that character gave at Christ’s birth (i.e., Joseph gave Jesus a home, the angels gave good news announcement and a song of praise).
18. Give Your Child a “Life Notebook!”
The “Life Notebook” is for collecting life memories. It could include pictures of your child, your family, and his friends. Try to encourage your child to add to his own notebook as a reminder of what God is doing in his life. (i.e., goals, some accomplishments, answered prayers, family travels, etc.)
19. “Quiet Places For Quiet Times”
Use this time to remember that Christmas is about Jesus and His coming. Try to create moments for silence and solitude this season.
Reflective moments could change the hassle of the season to the refreshment of the season.
This could help you focus on the real meaning of the holiday with its conflicting messages.
20. Help Plan a Family Time.
You might let your children help to plan your special Christmas Eve or morning family worship time (i.e., a story to read, a poem to recite, a prayer, a song, a short pantomime).
20. Develop a New Family Tradition!
What is unique and significant about your celebration of Christmas? Can you try to add something different this year? You are building lasting memories for your child by the way you keep doing this celebration.
21. “Traveling Nativity”
Use a creche at the child’s height for storytelling, informal teaching, or as an interest center. You could use the Shepherd figures early in the Advent season, and have them make their journey throughout the living room, arriving at the manger on Christmas Day. The three kings could arrive after Christmas on their journey to Jesus, etc.
22. Have a Birthday Party for Jesus!
Prepare a special cake for the occasion, sing happy birthday, Christmas carols and offer symbolic gifts representing gifts for Jesus. Maybe invite the neighborhood children and show the Jesus Film for Children to them.
23. Fetch Your Tree Together!
Let your children have a voice in the selection of the tree and let them help
decorate it. Be sure to include some homemade decorations. Try to make it fun so they are glad they were a part of it this year.
24. Create An Advent Wreath!
The advent wreath is a set of five candles in a decorative wreath. Each week prior to Christ’s birthday, another candle is light to remember the events prior to His birth. The center candle is light on Christmas Day to remind us of the Savior’s birth. For more information on creating an advent wreath, (see “Advent” in the www.Kidology.org website)
Another Kidhelper Resource from…
Creative Children’s Ministries
© 2003, All rights reserved, Permission granted for use in local church ministry only. Do not reprint or publish without prior written permission from CCM or Barney Kinard
Should a Christian Do Magic or Conjuring?
By Robert H. Hill
Doesn’t the Bible forbid magic, fortune-telling and ventriloquism? Is it right for a Christian to be involved in sleight of hand and illusion–aren’t these instruments dishonest and deceptive?
A Problem of Vocabulary
First, let’s get our terms defined. When the Bible (especially certain translations) uses the term “magic” (e.g. Exodus 22:14) or “sorcery” (Deuteronomy 18:11 et al.) or “ventriloquism” (e.g. Isaiah 8:19), it is clearly dealing with man’s involvement in the supernatural, often with the collaboration of evil spirits. The context of the Bible’s prohibitions makes it clear that God does not want man to dabble in games with the devil. Today’s manifestations of these forbidden activities are such things as “Ouija” boards, tarot cards, the occult and horoscopes. The Christian has no business playing with these, since they open the door to demonic influence.
Let it be emphasized that no true Christian magician or ventriloquist is in any way involved in the use of supernatural powers.
A problem rises from the fact that certain words have two meanings. “Magic” has the meaning of witchcraft or sorcery, but the word also means sleight of hand and illusion, the surprising and fascinating modern entertainment medium. Obviously the Bible is talking about the first of these meanings and not the second.
Etymologically, the word “ventriloquism” means “belly-talking.” As used in the Old Testament, the word refers to fortune telling by means of reading the entrails of slain animals, or demon possession, wherein an evil spirit spoke through a human mouthpiece. Modern ventriloquists create the illusion that their voices come from another source, using this to entertain. Spectators unable to explain this skill misnamed the illusion “belly talking.” Again, the Biblical prohibition has reference to one meaning of this word, but not the animation of puppets as is done in the modern entertainment medium. The first thing we must be sure of when dealing with Biblical prohibitions is that we understand what the Bible is in fact saying, so that we do not misapply the truth because of a confusion in vocabulary.
When asked to describe our mentoring experience with a Metaphor, my student offered—“it was like preventing a train wreck!” The diesel engine was going downhill fast, too fast, and getting faster. Things were getting out of control. The full-weight of the train cars were pushing from behind—creating a potential collision course. All attempts to slow things down seemed hopeless. The program was growing. She was getting more afraid with every mile downhill. A dangerous derailment seemed certain. She was in a panic.
She signed up for the Kidology Coaching Program. “Right away, my coach helped me to bring some pace and order to my chaotic ministry ride. We methodically managed to slow the runaway train down. My frantic pace was becoming manageable and the feared train wreck was averted.” Ahhh, some relief!
Once the train wreck was averted, we settled into working together on her whole program. “I am now beginning to understand how momentum works. I am planning farther ahead and planning better with my calendar. I have been learning how to pace the ride in the down times for the sudden rush of energy needed to get things done. My ministry train is on schedule again. I was taught some management skills for handling the danger zones by delegating.
A few months later, I asked how she would add to this Averting the Train Wreck Metaphor. She offered, “All the cars coming on line are being added to my engine. We are going in the same direction now, with purpose and vision. The crew is being trained and we are moving ahead together—all the cars are on the track.” There is a new sense of unity. All the ministry is in the “same basket,” instead of every program being separate and independent.” As we restructured her job description more programs were being added to her supervision.
Her ministry has had some adversity too.
During our Kidology Program she worked through a divorce, dealt with some “old hats” in the nursery program resistant to change. Her doctor discovered colon cancer. She has been recovering from this surgery and dealing with radiation and chemo, all this while the work continues. All this tested what she was learning.
However, she planned and organized two of the biggest program events that their church has ever hosted. One event was Watoto African Children’s Choir, which filled the town’s civic auditorium. The other event was the biggest Fall Festival they’d ever had, held last year. Both these events caught the attention of her church staff and the whole congregation. All of her programs now are growing and the church is adjusting to the growth implications.
She began her position as a half time “shared” Children’s Director. When the other part-time person left, she moved up to half time “alone.” Then she was promoted to three-quarter time. The Pastor wanted her full time, but she negotiated for a part-time Assistant. She was licensed this year. Next, she will be moving up to Ordained Children’s Pastor full time by 2014 with an Assistant Director (paid half time).
Kidology Coaching Works
Imagine how working with a Coach on new management skills, with proven strategies, could help a kidmin avert a train wreck.
B. Kinard, ©2013, rights reserved, www.Kidhelper.com
Maybe it has happened to you? You’re driving on a four-lane freeway (two lanes in one direction) the driver on your right, rushes up behind a slower eighteen-wheeler truck. You are in a line of traffic going 70 mph. He attempts to weasel his way into your lane of traffic, without signaling or getting any permission to do so. He just merges into your lane unsafely—taking a position tightly in front of you. This impacts all the cars behind you when you have to brake to avoid hitting this intruder. This obviously slows everyone down in your lane, including you. We have to adjust our driving speed to absorb this intrusion. Maybe you can understand the anger produced by this unsafe switching of lanes.
With over fifty years of driving experience, I have witnessed these near fatal mishaps on the road many times—too many times! Driving defensively means you anticipate any slight encroachment from the car in the lane next to you. Your periphery vision is on “full alert” in traffic like this for just such movement.
In Children’s Ministry, I have observed how one leader can wander out of their own lane and actually impede the action in the ministry lane of another. It is just easier to mind your own business. Stay out of the issues that do not concern you. Stay in your own lane!
Here are some examples of how one can drift out of their own lane and interfere in your ministry.
1. Occupy Your Own Space (keep eyes on the road) Thinking you are having a conversation with a staff person in the office, only to discover that this person you are not talking to begins to participate in your conversation—like they were included. You ask a rhetorical question and they answer it. Hearing is one thing, but responding to someone else’s overheard conversation is like crossing the line. The solution? Find another private place to talk.
2. Road is Not Well Marked (confusion abounds) When staff members do not have clear job descriptions, there can more opportunities for crossing lanes into another’s territory–no lines. When new staff members are added, it might be a good time to review your old job description. It can keep everyone in line.
3. Crossovers from the Big Boys (big vehicles rule) In Staff meeting, those who have no responsibility for children’s ministry respond to your report and quickly pontificate what you should be doing. They are trying to solve your problems when you did not ask for their participation. Hopefully, this is not the weekly occurrence. The solution? Announce when you want their involvement. Ask for it. Avoid this cross overs.
4. Watch Out For “Road Hogs.” (the takers—usurpers) You are on vacation or out sick for a week. A well-intentioned staff person, in an effort to help, may articulate a response for you in your absence, taking a position, with no authority to do so. This can impact you once you learn of it. Solution? Hunt them down and correct the information wrongly disseminated.
5. Some Learn the Hard Way (accidents happen) It is too easy to comment on someone’s wrong decision and policy, when you have no responsibility to do so. Some people have to learn by the consequences of their own mistakes, you cannot rescue all those around you—unless you are asked to participate. Leave it alone. Solution? Leave room for people to learn from their own mistakes—they become responsible when they have to correct it.
6. Watch Your Own Lane (pay attention to business) When an area is beyond the scope of your authority, admit it and do not wade into the traffic in the next lane. Do not lose focus on what is happening to your vehicle and stay in your lane. Keep your blinders on! It will keep you from wandering too close to the line.
7. Ignore Angry Gestures (two wrongs are not right) You just have to ignore the comments of others who have opinions, but no responsibility, nor authority to altar your direction and plans. If you have worked hard for ownership with your staff and leaders, someone outside that group needs to be seen as a last minute crossover attempt into your lane. This is not to say you do not hear feedback, but if you are on an “approved” course, you should maintain your spot in the line of traffic—hold your position, ignore insulting responses.