The problems that we are involved with range from disgruntled volunteers, post camp learnings, small group issues, registration mishaps, family counseling, absent student leaders, hurting students and many others.
There can be a pressure to resolve the problem or issue as quick as possible because life is moving at a quick pace and we know there will be another issue around the corner that we'll have to wrestle with and we don't want the current issue to drain us from our pastoral role. However if we do not have all the details and all the accurate details how to handle one issue it could actually create many other issues.
Younger in ministry leadership I did this more than I care to admit. I acted with a knee-jerk response making an assumption I had all the facts when really I didn't. The relational hurt, the misguided words and the "discipline" handed out were nothing but more problems added to an already uneasy situation.
Thankfully I've learned through my own ignorance & mistakes how to lead with more efficiency & care for people. Whether young in ministry or a seasoned veteran how we lead through problems & issues will speak volumes to those around our life as well as the incident.
Key factors for me are:
- Pray for wisdom & Discernement
- Ask Good Questions. Ask questions repeatedly of all the parties involved to help clarify everything.
- If possible write down the notes of the key things that need remembered, followed up on or detailed out.
- Speak with Grace first but do not minimize the issue. People need to feel heard & cared for, not swept under a rug.
- Do not let rumors win. Quiet any lingering rumors that will lead to gossip.
- Protect the character of those who are innocent. Allow sin to be confessed & effective accountability to model for others how issues can be resolved well.