Getting Along With Grown-Ups

Most children’s and student ministry leaders are more comfortable in relationships with young people than with adults. However, if you cannot lead and impact adults you’ll never have an outstanding ministry to families. Following are 12 tips for dealing positively with adult volunteers and co-workers.

1. Realize you need help. You must allow others to be involved. Doing the job alone will never leave fruit that remains.

2. Let people get to know you. Share your heart with those you lead. Spend time with your volunteers and let them get to know you.

3. Lead by setting the example. Give them someone to follow—set the pace. Never ask people to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.

4. Explain how and why as well as what. Leaders are teachers of those they lead; let the people you lead ask questions.

5. Admit when you are wrong. Take responsibility for your mistakes and ask forgiveness. Be quick to repent and don’t make the same mistake twice.

6. Always side with authority. Don’t open the door for rebellion. When in doubt, be loyal to and support the leaders above you.

7. Watch and inspect what others are doing. I call it the M.B.W.A. degree: Management By Walking Around. It’s the best way to stay in the know.

8. Dare to confront. Situations don’t fix themselves. Do everything out of love and always coach leaders to their next level.

9. Say thank you. A good leader can’t say it enough. And don’t just say thanks, show thanks.

10. Solicit the ideas and opinions of others. Ask for advice and listen to those in the trenches. Don’t lean on your own understanding; get another take on it.

11. Be an encourager. See yourself as a cheerleader for your volunteer teams, staff, and co-workers.

12. Serve those you lead as well as those who lead you. If Jesus came to serve and be served, we must do the same.

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Jim Wideman is an internationally recognized voice in children’s and family ministry. He is a much sought after speaker, teacher, author, personal leadership coach, and ministry consultant who has over 30 years experience in helping churches thrive. Jim created the Children’s Ministers Leadership Club in 1995 that is known today as "theClub" which has touched thousands of ministry leaders each month. Jim believes his marching orders are to spend the rest of his life taking what he has learn about leadership and ministry and pour it into the next generation of children’s, youth, and family ministry leaders.