The senior pastor or administrator expects cm for every event.
“How do I work with a senior pastor or administrator who expects to have children’s ministry (CM) for every church event?”
You have been hired to serve under, and support, this senior pastor or administrator. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with everything he stands for, but it does mean that you must be respectful while carefully expressing your own views.
“For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace—as in all the churches of the saints.” 1Corinthians 14:33
“But everything must be done in a proper and orderly manner.” 1Corinthians 14:40
This expectation makes “sense” philosophically, but it is very challenging when considering the needs of the CM team and the children’s safety.
It is important to meet with your senior pastor or administrator to discuss the expectation. At the beginning of the meeting, state your desire to support his/her vision and expectations. Also state your understanding that offering CM for a Bible study or church event supports the parents and frees them up to enjoy the event. It is important to state these two things at the very beginning of the meeting, so your senior pastor or administrator understands that you agree with the basic principle.
Tell the senior pastor or administrator that your concern relates to who staffs the ministry to the children. Share your CM team stats (how many volunteers serve on the team and how often they serve). Remind the senior pastor or administrator that this team of volunteers only serves during the normal church services, and that you work hard at scheduling the CM team’s rotation so that nobody on the CM team serves more than he/she is able. Also remind the senior pastor or administrator that everyone on the CM team has been “cleared” to be with children through an approved screening process. (If this is not the case, adding more times to be with the children will increase the church’s risk of being sued for negligence or abuse of children!)
Remind the senior pastor or administrator that it is not safe to have one person alone with children, so each children’s ministry gathering must have at least two screened adults who supervise the children. You might also address the concept of the ratio between adults and children. (If there are multiple ages of children in one room, this also increases the need for more adults.)
Let the senior pastor or administrator hear you say that you are very hesitant to use the regular CM team, who serve during the weekly church services, to run the CM for midweek Bible studies or church events because this could exhaust the volunteers and lead them to quit. So, based on this concern, if the senior pastor or administrator would like to provide CM for every church event or Bible study, there must be a recruiting process associated with this plan that doesn’t involve the current CM team. This statement may cause strong reaction from the senior pastor or administrator. If so, you must not back down. Your position as “shepherd” of the CM team is critical. You know that if you overwork the CM volunteers, you may negatively affect the ministry to the children! This is your first priority!
If the senior pastor or administrator demands that you work out a schedule that uses the current CM team to provide ministry to the children during church events or midweek Bible studies, you are faced with a significant decision. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to this decision!
If the senior pastor or administrator is open to building a separate team of people to minister to the children during midweek Bible studies or church events, there are some foundational questions that need to be answered:
1) Who will supervise these new people?
2) Will they be screened through the same process that the CM uses?
3) Will they be paid or volunteer?
4) Who determines what curriculum will be used?
5) How many people will be required? (Based on ratios, and rotation schedule)
6) How will these people be trained, and who does it?
7) What is the communication process between the Bible study or event leaders and the supervisor of those who minister to the children?
8) How much “lead time” is required before an event launch to prepare the adults to minister to the children?
As you can see, this is a complex process. Each of these questions can lead to a set of steps that need to be satisfied before providing ministry to the children. Each of these questions can have significant impact on the church and the current CM leadership and team. Hopefully, the ministry to the children is organized and done “in order” as the two scriptural principles express in 1Corinthians 14: 33-40.