One of the most common complaints I’ve heard from Youth Ministers over the years goes something like this, “I really love ministry, but I’m struggling with the rest of the parish staff.” If you’ve been in Youth Ministry long enough, there’s a good chance you’ve had some difficulty with other parish staff members.
While some may be supportive, others may not get why you’re “never in your office,” or maybe they don’t see the transformational power of shaving cream, duck tape and red vines. Regardless of the conflict, relationships among parish staff members can be improved. So what can you do?
I posed a question to my Twitter followers and Facebook friends the other day asking, “What is one thing that would help your parish staff improve as a whole?” Here are a few of the responses:
Better communication among ministries
Willingness to share openly and personally in prayer
Having social events together
These are all great suggestions, but that last one hit me: Radical Hospitality. That’s it! The secret is to serve. There is no better way to improve staff morale and staff relationships than by serving one another. After all, isn’t that what Jesus demonstrated when He washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-15)? What if you followed His lead?
- What if instead of asking for something, you sought first to serve?
- What if you wrote an affirmation note to a different staff member every week?
- What if you helped the maintenance worker clean up after your Life Night or Edge Night?
- What if you prayed over or with your fellow staff members?
- What if you just sat and listened?
- What if you washed their feet, literally and figuratively?
Working on a parish staff can be tough, and it can be tempting to get caught up in politics and competition. I know because I’ve been there. But you have to remember that you are all on the same team, working for the same Boss, to lead others closer to Him.
So grab your towel and basin, get down on your knees, and let the rest of the parish staff in on a little secret.