dealing with a ‘Maverick’ team member

Your Question:

“How do I deal with a CM team member who doesn’t attend CM team meetings, and who is becoming a ‘maverick’ among the team?”

The Issues:

Unity within the children’s ministry team is a healthy quality to pray and work toward.  Every member of your CM team is different, and that’s a good thing; but it is important that their differences are all working toward the same vision or goal.  A “maverick” team member might be good with the children, but if he/she isn’t serving as part of the team, he/she can actually cause disunity.  Challenging the “maverick” team member in a kind, yet firm way is important.  You may risk losing the team member, but that is better than losing your team unity.

Scripture Foundation:

“.…Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. …Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.…But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.…On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. …But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”  1 Corinthians 12: 12-26

Short Answer:

A team is made up of individuals who all use the term “we” instead of using “I” when describing what is accomplished by the team.  The children’s ministry team must be unified!  God cautions us in His scriptures about those who might cause disunity or division.  In Romans 16: 17, 18 Paul writes, I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naive people.” In Proverbs 6: 16-19, God identifies what He hates, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”  If God hates division, so should we.  We have to deal with the “maverick” carefully, though, so that we might not be guilty of bruising a child of God.  The process you must take should be kind, full of mercy, and open to explanation.  Your goal is to “salvage” the team member by helping him/her grow instead of simply attacking and removing.  Your attempts to “salvage” might not yield any results and you might be faced with removing the team member; but this “last step” should only come after many attempts at brining the “maverick” into the unity of the team.  The process should apply God’s style of dealing with “maverick” churches in Revelation.  God first compliments and recognizes the good before He rebukes the bad.  As you prayerfully prepare to challenge the “maverick” team member, ask God to help you see and remember what he/she does that is good.  Is he/she good with preparation, organization, communication, or is he/she very effective with children or parents?  This “goodness” is what you compliment first before you challenge him/her about being a “maverick.”  Make sure he/she understands the value of serving together as a team.  Help him/her understand the importance of the team members obeying the standards and procedures.  Ask him/her questions about the dangers of a team that is not serving together regarding curriculum or safety policies.  Help him/her to see the challenge through your eyes.  Then, support the fact that he/she is a powerful part of the team and that other CM team members watch what he/she does.  Invite him/her to be an example of team mentality.  After this initial conversation, look for ways to support and encourage his/her efforts to be a better team member and less of a “maverick.”  Instant compliments will help him/her turn away from being a “maverick” and joining the team.  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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