Dealing With A Team Member who refuses to wear team wear or id badge

Your Question:

“How do I deal with a CM team member who refuses to wear the CM team wear, or the CM ID badge?”

The Issues:

The safety of the children is a critical focus for today’s children’s ministry (CM).  Most parents would place the safety of their children over the spiritual aspect of the ministry. Identifying “cleared” CM team members with CM team wear or an ID badge is vital to a parent’s trust. A team member who refuses or “forgets” to wear the team wear or the ID badge must be challenged directly to correct this behavior.  If the team member refuses to wear the team wear or the ID badge, he/she must not be allowed to be with the children.

Scripture Foundation:

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  Acts 20:28

Short Answer:

Ideally, everyone on the CM team desires to serve under the CM Director or Pastor and submit to the policies and procedures. In any group of people, there are some who have trouble with submission, or who want to do things differently.  As the CM leader, you will allow some flexibility or personal differences, but when it comes to the safety of the children, there is no room for “exceptions.”  A team member who refuses to wear the CM team wear or an ID badge, must be directly challenged to do so by you!  This challenge should be connected to an affirmation of his/her value on the team.  Compliment him/her about his/her abilities or talents in ministering to the children.  Find something positive to say about what he/she does for the children before you reinforce the importance of wearing the team wear or the ID badge.  Ask him/her why he/she refuses to wear the team wear or ID badge.  Let him/her know clearly that wearing the team wear or ID badge is a non-negotiable requirement for serving on the CM team.  Remind him/her of the importance of identifying those who have been “cleared” through the application and screening process, and that the parents need to see some visual proof that we protect their children.  Share your desire for the team member to choose to wear the team wear or ID badge in order to remain on the CM team.  Clearly state that if he/she chooses not to wear the team wear or ID badge, then he/she has chosen not to serve on the CM team.  Ask for him/her to state that he/she understands the seriousness of this requirement, and then tell him/her that you hope he/she will remain on the CM team for a very long time!  After the conversation, make sure you document your encounter with the team member.  You might also send your supervisor or senior pastor an email that summarizes the purpose for your conversation with the CM team member, and the ultimatum that you presented him/her.  You do this in order to protect yourself, and the senior pastor, from any surprises that might come if the team member should react strongly to your conversation.  Hopefully, this will be the last time you will need to enforce the wearing of team wear or the ID badge with this team member.  Make sure to notice if the team member wears the team wear or ID badge next week, and either compliment him/her or ask him/her to step down from the ministry.  Make sure to document his/her choice or action and keep your ministry supervisor or senior pastor informed as well.

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