Okay, we all want to believe our church and children’s ministries are places where people are affirmed, cared for, supported, encouraged and loved, but are you sure this is really the case? It is oh so easy for us to be so “caught up” in the ministry and all we do each week that we end up missing when there are people who “fall through the cracks”. Consider the following . . .
- if you have a volunteer who “fades” out of the “picture”, do you “write them off” as someone who wasn’t serious about serving or do you invest time to get the full picture? Do you check to see if they may be experiencing difficulties in their home life . . . loss of job/income, illness, marriage/family challenges, death in the family or a host of any other challenges. While some people may openly share when they face difficulties, others do not, so you may need to carefully and lovingly ask questions, show interest and take the time to find out what is really happening. Be extremely cautious about “writing anyone off” because most of the time when you do this, you will end up finding out you didn’t have the full picture.
- if you have a family who doesn’t “fully engage”, do you refocus your attention on the families who are more involved or do you invest the time to get the full picture? Again, a family may be experiencing some of the difficulties mentioned above or they just may have a very difficult time connecting. They may not feel like they “fit” so if you personally show some interest and try to “match” them with another family to help them feel “connected”, you may end up with them becoming more involved. Plus remember, money is very tight for many families these days, so when participating means spending money you will have families who are not able to participate. There is a huge difference between “walking away” and “not being able” to participate. Be extremely cautious about “assuming” because most of the time when you do this, you will find out you didn’t have the full picture.