Saturday, October 21, 2017

Episode 007: Challenging Parent Conversations Part 1

If you’ve been in serving in Children’s Ministry for more than a week, you’ve probably already had to have some hard conversations with parents. Whether they had a complaint about Children’s Ministry or you had to talk to them about their child’s behavior, these conversations are never fun, but if we handle them right, they are a great opportunity for ministry.

In today's podcast we'll cover nine tips that will help you take these potentially challenging conversations and use them to build bridges between your Children's Ministry and the families you serve.

Click here to listen in iTunes.

9 Tips for Handling Tough Conversations Download

9 tips are a lot to remember so make download the Parent Conversation Cheat Sheet and keep it on your phone or some place handy as a reference for when you're dealing with a tough conversation.

What kind of problem are you facing?

To address a parent's concern, it's helpful to know what kind of problem you're facing.  Is it a people problem?  A process problem?  A programming problem?  Or maybe a preference problem?  Download the Problem Analysis Tool to help you figure out which one you may be dealing with.  

Keep in the mind, there can be quite a bit of overlap between these four areas, and the challenges we face are often a mixture of one or more of these categories.

Finally, there's one category of problem I didn't mention, and that is a perception problem.  Sometimes the problem you're dealing with appears to be one category but it turns out to be more of a perception issue.  For example, several years ago a well-meaning mom suggested that we should consider doing a lesson or a Bible story while her kids were in Children's Ministry.  It was hard not to laugh because that's pretty much all we do.  

In her mind, this was a programming problem, because she thought we just spent the whole hour playing with the kids.  In reality, however, it was a perception problem, because the only thing she was kids playing with their leaders during check in time and watching a video during check out.   It was up to us to help her learn about what we were teaching and to point her toward the tools we provide parents so she could continue those conversations at home.  

Is this a problem to be solved or a tension to be managed?

In this fantastic leadership talk by Andy Stanley, Andy talks about the difference between problems in our ministry that need solutions and tensions that need to be managed that actually help us make progress as a church.  


1 comment:

  1. What do you do if you haven't handled a parents concern well? I tend to avoid confrontation, so when a parent cornered me between services with many people around, I didn't handle the situation well. I wasn't rude but the grandparent thought I was dismissive to her suggestion. Now a year (yes! an entire year!) has passed and the grandparents and the children have not been back. (Except to VBS because it's free childcare; and I think the children have been told to ignore me.) Is it too late to salvage? I've been praying, but so far, I'm at a loss for what to do...