I drove into my daughters’ school drop-off zone yesterday morning pnly to drive out angry at how adults sometimes treat children who are trained and designated to be community leaders.
I confess – we were in the “5 minutes to the last bell”crowd. As I pulled up closer to the five designated drop-off-and-drive-off spots, I immediately noticed some heavy drop-off congestion. Five cars were all vying for the same spot. Just beyond the parking lot, safely on the sidewalk and wearing her patrol gear what a child who looked frustrated but kept doing her job – holding out her hand for cars #6 and beyond to wait and directing other cars to pull out. Parents in cars #1-5 and even #6 #7 were ignoring this poor young lady and just driving up to other spots and causing the crazy congestion that stopped the entire parking lot from working as smooth as it could.
Now these drop off spots are very clearly marked by numbers and heavily publicized policies in parent/school communications). Often there is an adult – parent or teacher – helping out, but these patrol students are well trained. I’m guessing it was “5 minutes to the bell” and the adult helpers needed to get to their classrooms, etc. There really shouldn’t be an issue here. Had the driving “adults” respected the leadership and training of this student – rather than simply dismissing her as “only a child” perhaps the drop-off area would have run more smoothly.
I was really frustrated for this little girl and need to send a note of thanks off to our principal to let them know what I observed. I was so frustrated that parents of a community pledging to come together to raise our kiddos up as leaders in this school system can decide to one-up the system and take things into their own hands. Not only does it clog up our parking lot and drop-off system – it degrades the very thing we are trying to teach and deflates an individual child’s confidence in their abilities.
Here are my thoughts when it comes to children and leadership in churches (or anywhere really):
* When provided training and given responsibility we need to let the children go and let them lead – especially the ones who really get it. Sometimes they may need assistance etc. But let them lead.
* When being led by a child – we need to let them lead. Adults simply need to respect and trust that if another adult has left a child (11,12,13 yr old child) in charge then they likely are responsible enough to lead. IF there is an issue – bring it to the team leader, rather than take things into your own hands [unless it is a viable safety issue of course].
Please let our children and youth be leaders – they need it, we need it, and sometimes they are just better at the job!
And to that young patrol student – this is what I want you to hear: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” - 1st Timothy 4:12