A few months ago, I wrote an article called 10 Things That Drive a Children’s Pastor Crazy. So many folks responded to the humorous punch list, that I followed that up with 6 More Things That Drive a Children’s Pastor Crazy. (Thanks by the way for all the shares, likes and comments you gave us.) It was kind of cathartic to finally share collectively what many kids’ pastors wished everyone knew.
As I mentioned before though, we love everyone and this is meant to be a fun list, not an angry indictment against the church. (LOL) From the buckets of sticky gummy worms to the two-hour clean ups after service, we love every minute of it. However, I also heard from some volunteers who felt a little “miffed” at being left out. So with the help of some of these fearless children’s ministry workers, I compiled a new list of things that drive volunteers crazy. Ready for this one?
1. The leader who isn’t prepared. Here’s the scenario: It’s ten minutes until class time and the children’s pastor looks at you and says, “What should we teach today?” Volunteers are thinking, “You’re kidding, right?”
2. No training. Practice training gets cancelled for lack of attendance or something else. Volunteers say, “Please train me, even if it’s just me. I need help.”
3. Role changes without notice. Being put in a teaching situation without any notice. I signed up for the arts and crafts table, not teaching. Please don’t make me feel guilty because I’m not a teacher.
4. When the leader undermines a volunteer’s authority. For example, the leader asks the volunteer to keep kids from standing on the table. The volunteer does as she is asked and tells Suzy that standing on the table isn’t allowed. She must get down or someone will report her behavior to her parents. Suzy cries. The leader comes over and hugs Suzy, promising her that everything will be okay. The volunteer is left wondering, “Hey! Why am I the bad guy?”
5. Volunteer requests that have no start or end date. Volunteers say that many times they want to help but don’t because they are unable to make a full time commitment. Please post requests for help that include a start and end date.
6. Micro-management. It drives kids min volunteers crazy when the leader micro-manages. Here’s what I’ve heard recently: “Thanks Pastor Mo, but I think I can handle gluing the macaroni into a boat shape. Just give us an example and trust us to do it correctly. We promise to ask for help if we need it.”
7. Where’s my stuff? Volunteers hate it when supplies come up missing. Please provide us with everything we need for crafts and activities.
That’s just a few of the things that drive a children’s ministry volunteer crazy. (We love you pastors, teachers and leaders!)
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.
Don’t miss our other posts about working with children’s ministry volunteers.