Lazy Ministers or High Expectations?

“What? He didn’t show up again?”  Don’t you hate when a minister bails on you last minute?  Isn’t it frustrating how much blood, sweat and tears we pour into them; yet, they still treat us like a second thought?  Isn’t it insulting to think that they don’t have the decency to treat the ministry with the same love, dedication and respect that you do?
Well, if you feel that way, let me help you down from your high horse and suggest some of the real reasons people aren’t serving like you expect them:

  • The Path Isn’t Clear – We can’t assume that our ministers are going to embrace the same values and standards as us.  That would be silly.  The only way you can guarantee being clear is by being simple and direct.  A great way to do that is by writing it down and communicating it frequently.  By doing that you practice giving instruction and casting vision.  And the better you get the more clear you are.
  • No One’s Held Accountable – If you have a covenant enforce it.  Protect the values and standards of your ministry  Many times we list them clearly, but when they are broken we say, “Eh, that’s okay.”  And it is okay when the reason is legit, but what if it’s not?  I’m not saying we have to be drill sergeants, but we need accountability; otherwise, people won’t take you seriously.
  • People Are In The Wrong Place – Before you ever ask someone to leave ministry consider reassigning them to a new one.  If a person is confused or overwhelm by their responsibility then chances of them performing to your standards are slim to none.  Have a conversation with them and help them find that new place, even if it’s outside of student ministry.  We weren’t all designed to work with teenagers; however, we are all designed to serve.
  • It’s Busy Season – You aren’t the only one with drama in your life.  Life happens to your ministers and sometimes ministry isn’t the first, second or even 100th thing on their mind.  In this case it’s best to ask them to take a season off and then revisit the situation down the road.  A distracted minister, isn’t focused on what God wants them to do.  Have them spend some time focusing on what that is.

I’m not making excuses for your volunteers, but it’s easy to make everything about us.  We not only do it with ministers, but parents, teens and even our own pastors.  Before you get ready to call someone lazy, irresponsible or apathetic, consider the fact that you might have a system problem.

Sometimes we need the assistance of others to show us what we are missing.  What are some other reasons a minister might not be living up to your expectations?


What are your standards, values or expectations for your ministers?