May 23, 2011

Playing Favorites

In the two years that I have worked with the Senior High at my church, I think I have heard this phrase used more times than I can count in my head (My short term memory isn't very good, but you can make all the intelligence jokes you like as long as it makes you laugh). The reality is, in the size of ministry that I am currently working, there is no humanly way that I can connect with every single student that comes through the doors. Now, Jesus, He might be able to pull that off. I, however, contrary to popular belief, am not Jesus.

Favorites. If there is a prominent leader in any group of humans, it seems that someone will come away thinking that someone is playing favorites. I hate the thought that any student would think that I don't value them, but the reality is that I cannot completely control their perspective and interpretation of my actions. But, maybe there are some things that we can do to change that tone?

Here are some of my thoughts:
  • Regularly Broaden Your Scope
    • I've noticed that if you can find ways to send messages or simply say "Hey" to students when they least expected it, you can speak volumes to their interpretation of your interpretation of them. A little can go a long way.
  • Find Ways to Involve Others
    • In my office, I have a list of students from each grade that have ever walked through the doors. One thing that I have been good at is contacting the same students for different opportunities in our ministry as they come up. So, to remedy that, I have been trying to find other students who are involved that may not be on my mental list. It is amazing what can happen when you tap the shoulder of someone who has just been waiting for your call.
  • Meet with the Dissenters
    • If we are honest with ourselves, we have to know that there are some in our ranks that are not completely on board with what we are doing. They typically will keep to themselves and not participate. If they do rise up, it usually is as a group. Engage in those conversations. Press into the conflict and show that person(s) value. The reality is, the conversation can go a long way to a person who wants to be heard.
Just some things that I have been learning as we have progressed through the year. I hope to find these things implemented for next year as we look to change up and mix up the faces that we regularly see on our stage and on the platform of influence in our ministry.

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