Go ahead, try to over-communicate with your team members or the parents in your ministry. I’m convinced it’s pretty tough to do.
Things you think are totally evident are apparently not evident at all. At least that’s what I seem to be finding out.
For example, I recently put out a call for people to save their toilet paper and paper towel rolls so we could use them for a craft during our Summer Storytime in the Park. Of course, people were happy to oblige.
Now, I was thinking people would just bring in the rolls when they got a small stack so we could add them to the collection.
Everyone else was thinking, “I’ll just keep accumulating these at home until I hear otherwise”. A few people (my parents and grandma) felt free to ask when I needed them, but everyone else just kept to themselves.
As a result, we didn’t have as many rolls to use at Storytime and people’s homes were slowly being overrun with little cardboard tubes. A few people must have reached a breaking point, because about the last week of August, my office suddenly started receiving many a bag of rolls. Of course, we no longer needed them for Summer Story-time, so I decided to play a tower building game during our regularly schedule Wednesday night Kids’ Club.
It was pretty fun, but here’s the kicker: As soon as parents started to stroll in to pick up their kids, I started hearing things like “Oh, do you need those now?” “I’ve got a whole TON of those at home!” “Oh, should I bring mine in?”
I really blew this one.
So, I guess I’ll be trying to think of some cool crafts to do at our Halloween Block Party with all our newly acquired toilet paper rolls.
The point is, you’ve got to communicate with your people. A lot. More than you think you should have to. Just because something makes sense in your head does not mean everyone around you is catching the full vision. I should have posted in the newsletter about WHEN we’d need those rolls, not just WHAT we’d be using them for. I should have put a GIANT sign outside my office announcing “NOW COLLECTING PAPER TOWEL ROLLS” and included a deadline.
This is a crucial thing I’m coming to realize in my ministry. I simply cannot over-communicate to parents and team members. Because I tend to avoid direct communication in general (I blame this on facebook), it’s an area I need to be especially conscious of.
What About You?
What blooper has befallen you because of lack of communication? I’d love to hear about it!