Our CM team is unprotected

Your Question:

“How can I can I protect those who serve on our CM team from being ‘burned out’ by too many requests for CM from the church?”

The Issues:

The CM is committed to serving the children of the church; but the CM team is limited in size and cannot “do everything.”  The extreme options are: 1) for the CM to be responsible for ALL needs for children’s ministry care for ALL church events or Bible studies; and 2) for the need for ministry to the children to be the responsibility of the leaders of the events or Bible studies, with NO involvement from the CM.  The challenge is accountability.  If there is no supervising authority who oversees the recruiting and screening of those who minister to the children, then there is a significant safety and legal risk. 

Scripture Foundation:

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” 1 Timothy 5:18

Short Answer:

Ideally, the CM “should” be responsible for all activities that involve ministry to children, it is not realistic to expect this “ideal.”  A church may grow toward that goal by strengthening the CM’s team and budget; but it may take some time to get to that goal.  In the meantime, the expectation that the CM will provide all of the personnel needed to operate the children’s ministry care for Bible studies, home studies, or church events is a philosophical perspective.  If the church holds to this view, the senior pastor must be helped to understand the potential danger of “burning out” the CM team by expecting them to serve during the regular weekly services, and also to serve during the other church events or programs.  The CM Director or Pastor must stand as “shepherd” of the CM.  As a “shepherd,” the director or pastor must protect the CM team from being over-used. This protection may cause stress between the CM and the rest of the church or even with the senior pastor.  In protecting the CM team, it is important to offer other options.  A separate team of cleared volunteers who just serve during non-weekly programs might be built. It may be easier to recruit volunteers for this team because the volunteers will serve very periodically, rather than every week. If the church decides to decentralize the ministry to the children of the periodic events or Bible studies, the CM Director or Pastor might oversee the training and screening of the volunteers, but not the scheduling.  For more help, click on the links below.

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