You know you are involved in preschool ministry or have a preschooler in your midst when the infamous “Why” questions start!
“Your child probably uses the why word for the same reason you do: to get information about a world they don’t fully understand. Preschoolers have only been in the world for a short while, after all, so life experience is minimal, but their wonder and imagination is huge! Here’s why: At this age, their brains are developing rapidly and they’re trying—really trying—to connect the dots in their always new and fascinating world” (Flanders, 2021).
Working with and ministering to preschoolers can be a moment of “passion or panic” as described by Hudson (2021). How exciting for you when a new family visits your church and has decided to trust their preschooler to your ministry. You have trained your ministry leaders and volunteers to greet the preschooler and their families with a warm welcome and a friendly smile. It’s an opportunity for you to calm some anxious moments for a mom, dad, or grandparent—and especially for the preschooler. You have an opportunity to connect with the preschooler on their level, which means you get down and look them in the eye and greet them! You call them by name and you take the time to tell them your name. Who knows, you might just get to answer some of the preschoolers’ why questions as you introduce them to their teachers and leaders for the day and to some of the other preschoolers who are part of your ministry!
As an employee, employer, or team leader, “why is the one constant that will guide you toward fulfillment in your work and life” (Simon, 2020). There are too many workplaces, organizations, and ministries where it is not acceptable to ask questions such as why something is the way it is, or why the goals aren’t being met. This speaks to the importance of accountability. Accountability to and for each other helps reach goals. It ensures everyone has the knowledge of what needs to be done. Goals are being met and the team is working together to achieve their goals. Accountability happens as the team gathers in weekly meetings and no one avoids the why questions. Again, we are not talking about a threatening why question, but a healthy accountability why.
James 1:5 reminds us that asking questions or seeking wisdom or answers to our questions is acceptable to our heavenly Father. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV).
Maybe it’s time as leaders of organizations, ministries, people, and teams, we begin to ask the why questions. The purpose of asking the why question is not just so we can satisfy the annual review process for our bosses, boards, or even our own selves. There has to be purpose and meaning behind the why questions. As stated earlier, preschoolers ask why questions “to get information about a world they don’t fully understand”. What would happen if as ministry leaders we begin to ask such questions?
“Knowing the ‘why’ behind any ministry will do more to set the stage for future advancement and to grow the church than anything else” (Leaders.Church, 2021).
As leaders in ministry, we cannot avoid the need to improve once we discover the answers to our why. Why else are we asking the why question? Psalm 25:4-5 reminds us, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me…” (NIV).
Maybe it’s time we revert back to our preschool days and begin to ask the “why” questions. In doing so, we might discover something new or something that needs to be changed or improved upon.
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