Dealing with a team member who is harsh with parents

Your Question:

“How do I deal with a CM team member who is great with the kids, but is harsh with the parents?”

The Issues:

The primary focus of the CM is, of course, the children; but we must remember that the parents bring and entrust the children into our care.  If the parents are offended, they will stop bringing the children and possibly go to another church.  Treating the parents kindly is equally important to treating the children kindly.  This problem must be dealt with quickly and directly.

Scripture Foundation:

“Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ And after He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.” Matthew 19: 13-15

Short Answer:

 It is interesting that Jesus rebuked the disciples for not being supportive of the parents’ desire to have Jesus bless their children.  This action proves Jesus’ support of parents!  When one of your CM team member is harsh with parents, you must deal with that team member as directly as Jesus did! There are 5 critical things to do with a harsh team member right away: 1) Let him/her know that his/her words or actions toward parents is wrong; 2) Remove that team member from direct contact with parents (have another team member responsible for greeting the parents at the door or checking the children out to the parents at the end of the service); 3) Review your training process regarding communicating and supporting parents with the team member, and possibly with the entire CM team; 4) Look for ways to compliment the team member’s obvious adjustments in his/her attitude toward parents; 5) Set up a connection with the offended parents for the CM team member to apologize for his/her harshness. This 5-step process follows the process described in 2Timothy 3:16 in reference to the power of the scriptures.  “All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.”  If you believe you have trained this team member in the appropriate communication with parents, refer to that training.  If, as you ask God to help you deal with this team member’s harshness, you realize that your training may not have been adequate in this area, apologize to the team member and give the team member some personal training in this area as you make plans to train the entire team in how to support parents. For more help, click on the links below.

Click here to read more about how to deal with human nature in the “image of God.”

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