• Who’s Holding Your Ladder?

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, August 5th, 2013


It was easy! Just get those six empty boxes down from the garage attic. So I climbed the ladder to knock them off the shelf. Then it happened! The extension ladder lost it’s footing and fell from the top down with me going down with it. I must have been knocked out going down, because I do not remember the descent or the landing. I was unconscious for nearly 30 minutes. No one was home. I woke up dazed! I staggered into the house and removed the blood from my head. Some family came over and whisked me off to the Emergency Room. They did a CAT scan on my head and an X-ray on my elbow. I received 10 staples that seamed together the three-inch gash in my scalp. All this happened because “No one was holding my ladder!”

A whole lot of pain and suffering could have been avoided, with some help, but I thought I did not need any help. I have done this many times before. I can do this, simple! Unfortunately, as I found out, “going it alone” can get you in real trouble.

This is also true in Children’s Ministry. It is easier to get help with the big issues, and neglect the easier, smaller things that you feel competent in doing.

Here are a few scenarios that might require someone strategically holding your ladder, when you are tempted to “take the risk” to do it alone.

1. Do not fire anyone (volunteer or paid workers) without consulting with your leadership first.

2. Do not make any far-reaching changes in your program or personnel, without your staff or your team being fully involved in your decision.

3. Do not cancel any long-standing program, without adequate processing of the shareholders and understanding who is invested in this program.

4. Do not express all your emotion on the first impulse. Hold it! Get some more information! Be sure you have the facts correct, before you unload your anger. Having a safe person to talk with first might save you and your credibility. Asking for forgiveness personally is easier than humbling yourself to a large group.

5. Acting independently with questionable behaviors, with no accountability can be a bump on the head.

6. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you know children’s ministry better than anyone else and arrogantly fail to consult parents and leaders in your planning.

7. Do not be in a situation where you are too isolated with a child. Be sure to be somewhere public or let someone know what you are doing and where—better to be in the presence of another adult or parent.

8. When being criticized, find ways to agree with them, rather than being defensive, so you can become teachable. Demonstrating your defensive side might backfire and send an arrogant message that inflames more criticism. Standing firm, but silent might serve you better.

9. Try not to create liability for the church without your leaders knowing what you are doing. This is particularly an issue with financial guarantees where you might be counting persons to come for finances to work out beyond your budget (i.e., guaranteed minimums for camp or a vendor)

10. In general, keep your immediate supervisor, Pastor or administrative team members appraised as to what you are doing. Should some problems arise, they would be knowledgeable of the situation and would be able to hold your ladder.

Challenge: Some work just requires a ladder with a helper. However, in an effort to be a transparent leader working alone, staying in the shadows, keeping secrets, creating liability, being too independent, and acting without counsel and support are issues that have the potential to move your ladder. With a trusted supportive person you can do the job that the ladder requires. Avoiding this help increases the risk. I know! It can be a bump on the head!

Who’s holding your ladder?

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