The senior pastor or administrator won’t allow room occupancy Limits.
“How cdo I work with a senior pastor or administrator who won’t allow limits to the number of children in a room?”
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. The challenges related to this issue are: children’s safety, fire code adherence, the CM team happiness, and the “politics” of welcoming every child.
“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
There are two factors at work against each other in this challenge:
1) The senior pastor or administrator wants “everyone to be welcomed,” and
2) You, as a shepherd of the CM need to protect the children and the CM team.
From the senior pastor or administrator’s perspective, there should be no limits on the number of children accepted into the CM areas, and from your perspective there must be limits on the number of children in the CM areas. There are 4 possible options for solving this impasse without being fired:
1) Check children into older aged areas. If your 5-year-old area is “full,” begin checking 5-year-olds into a first-grade area, etc. Be very careful NOT to check older children into a younger aged area. This will frustrate the children!
2) Shifting age groups between rooms. If you have a large number of fourth graders in a smaller room and a small number of sixth graders in a larger room, swap their rooms. Move the larger group into a larger room and the smaller group into the smaller room.
3) Combine multiple ages into one larger room. This can only be done if you have a room big enough to handle the population, and if you have enough CM team members to handle the larger sized group.
4) If the weather permits, move a group outside (in a patio area or grassy area). This reduces the “over-crowding” of a smaller room, but it also adds an additional stress to the CM team to keep the children focused and safe. If you move a group outside, you should move them back into the smaller room for check-out.
If none of these options are possible for you, you may be forced to protect your CM team and the children by inviting the parents with children to sit with their children in the worship area as a family. If you do this, you MUST be prepared to have a conversation about this decision with your senior pastor or administrator. He/she will probably be upset with you about this decision. “Count it all joy,” though, to be able to discuss the wonderful problem you both face regarding having too many children for the facility. It is a good thing that the senior pastor or administrator begins to understand your side of the challenge.
Remind your senior pastor or administrator of the importance of the safety of the children and the “sanity” of the CM team. A very real potential consequence of overloading classrooms is hurt children or CM team members quitting. Neither consequence is good for the church.
If the challenge of too many children for the facility size is a consistent problem, then maybe it is time for an additional service. The need for more CM team members will always be with a growing church. Make sure to recruit to the vision and not to the need. People will respond to vision presented passionately!