Can You Hear Me Now?

Wendy Douglas —  March 14, 2011

Communication is key when it comes to volunteers and leadership in children’s ministry.  Typically, many of these conversations happen at church on a Sunday morning and more often than not are completely spontaneous.  However, trying to have a conversation before service, between services, or after service can be a challenge, and trying to effectively communicate your thoughts in those times can be darn near impossible.   From welcoming new families to passing out takehome papers, there are so many activities that can disrupt conversations during these times. Here are a few things you can do to help these spontaneous Sunday morning conversations be more effective:

  • Have a wing man – have someone available to take over what you are doing at the time to free you up for talks right away.
  • Carry a notepad – no matter how good your memory, you won’t remember everything someone tells you on a hectic Sunday morning.  Right it down for future reference.
  • Make a date – let the person know that you would like to continue talking at a later time either by phone or in person.
  • Keep it short – even those conversations you do have on Sunday morning should be kept short.  Tell the person that you only have three minutes, and stick to it.  If it’s going to take longer, see the prior suggestion.

It is imperative that you let the person know that the conversation they want to have with you is very important to you whether it is one that happens immediately or one that needs to be scheduled for a later time.  When people do not feel that you are interested in what they have to say, they will not come to you for future conversations, and killing those lines of communication can be deadly for your ministry.

What are some ideas that you have when it comes to having or scheduling these conversations?

Wendy Douglas

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Wendy is married to a warrior for the last 18 years and Mom to three boys. She volunteers in KidzPlace at The Gathering Church in Sevierville, TN. She reads almost anything she can get her hands on. In addition to contributing to Kidmin1124, she maintains her own blog called Saved Sister at http://savedsister7.blogspot.com/.

3 responses to Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. Wendy, communication is the “big” issue. Often people come to me during Sunday mornings, during Awana, or other events with comments, suggestions and just to talk. For years, if it was an “action” thing for me to do, or remember, I told them to “write in down” and give it to me.

    One thing I’ve done recently is in the nursery. We meet in a movie theater so I cannot wander in during the week and check on things, so on the front of the sign in sheet (small church with paper sign-in) I have a line that reads “Supplies needed – Yes / No” and then on the back is a list of basic supplies used in the nursery for them to check what is needed. That way during the week, if I get the sign in sheet after service, that information is written down for me in an easy format. Not perfect, but has been a help.

    Finding ways to improve communication is important.

    • Karen Chambers March 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      We have a white board up in our children’s ministry welcome center where we make notes about anything that needs to be discussed with a volunteer, family or among staff on Sunday morning so we don’t forget. Unless it’s something we can fix quickly, we tell volunteers and parents that we’ll contact them the next day because what they want to talk about is important to us and we want to have time to really focus on them. This always satisfies them and gives us time to repond well.

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