One of the crazy things about ministry and serving the church is you never know what kind of challenge will be facing you each morning when you start your day in the office. Now those surprises are not limited to the office because we carry our office with us at all times with the phone in our pocket. At any moment you can get a text, call, or email that changes your plans for the day in drastic ways. In that moment of crisis we often forget that we are building bridges of trust between us and the people involved and often the people involved are parents! We always have to be ready to “leverage the unexpected” to build trust with the families we serve.
I was reminded of the power of leveraging the unexpected this week as my favorite football team has faced a unexpected challenge. This week, my Tennessee Vols, after winning a critical game on Saturday, discovered on Sunday one of the leaders of their team has made a terrible mistake and been arrested. On Monday morning I watched our head football coach handle the situation with clarity and confidence and in the midst of a terrible situation. He was building trust with fans and with the media. He did not hide. He led with courage and compassion. He leveraged the unexpected to build trust.
Don’t forget that in the midst of your next unexpected moment in ministry you have a chance to build trust with parents. In the midst of your next challenge remember…
- Listen well.
- Be present with people in their struggle.
- Seek advice and counsel from other parents and leaders when difficult situations arise.
- Lead well and communicate with confidence in crisis.
- Don’t overreact and instead learn from every crisis moment.
- Help your volunteers be on the same page with how to respond by communicating clearly with them in times of crisis.
- Pray, pray, and then pray more. God has this.
When parents see leaders lead well in times of challenge and struggle they know they can trust those leaders. You never know when your next unexpected moment will come. Lead well when it shows up and build trust with parents!