I have to say, in full disclosure, I am an individual who can succumb to exaggeration, hyperbole, and dramatic inflation. I have to be cautions to not over inflate my communication of the needs of our ministry so as to get our way.
Some of you know what I am talking about. You are sitting in front of your supervisor and you want one of three things; more budget, more volunteers, or more space for your ministry.
You want more budget so you lay out a reality about the needs of your ministry. You need more volunteers so you lay out the realities of how many volunteers you don’t currently have and the needs that you currently do have. You may also lay out how cramped your space is and how you need just one or two more rooms.
Common Problems – Limited Resources
Listen, I have been a children’s pastor for over a decade and I know that these are not only common problems, they are going to continue to be problems within all of our ministries. Money is a limited resource. Volunteers are a hot commodity that every other ministry area would love to have more of. Square footage in your church is typically a limited commodity and it is rare that your church is going to blow out two walls and add another 10,000 square foot of space.
Therefore, these limiting resources can sometimes feel as if they are limiting your ministry. I get that. However, as you are sharing the cold realities of the lack of volunteers that you have, be cautious not to express your needs in colder terms than is necessary. I tell you, you will get burned. You will be hurt if you exaggerate your ministry needs and your supervisor does his/her due diligence to explore whether or not your story holds water.
I speak from personal experience. I have found myself in front of my executive pastor and in order to get the needs of my ministry placed at the top of the heap of things he needs to do, I over exaggerated my message.
Caught Crying Wolf
Now, I have to say that stretching the truth or stretching your need might work the first few times. However, that is a pathetic long term strategy because soon you are going to be caught crying wolf. You know the story just like I do. The young shepherd cries wolf, the townspeople come running, but there was really not a wolf at all. Fool me once, your fault; fool me twice, my fault. The second and third time when he cries wolf, the townspeople not only think skeptically about coming, sometimes they don’t come at all. They look at the need as extremely suspect and possibly even an outright lie. You do not want to be in this position.
Don’t exaggerate the needs of your ministry. Don’t find yourself characterized as an exaggerated tale spinner of half truths in order to get your way. Trust me, it won’t pay off.
Don’t cry wolf. Don’t exaggerate your ministry needs.