There is a WorkSafe campaign on Victoria television at the moment with the slogan “would you do what you ask your workers to do?” In each of the seven 20 second commercials a supervisor asks a worker to do something that is obviously unsafe and the worker agrees. The point of the campaign is that workers are asked to do unsafe things all the time, just not that obvious. Of course a worker would never do something unsafe if it was that obvious but what if it wasn’t obvious.
Check out the adds: Worksafe victoria
Whilst the campaign is frightening it drives home the point that we can’t ask people to do something that we know is unsafe. One supervisor asks the young worker to work on a broken machine, another asks them to work in an inappropriate desk, another to fall off the back of a motor bike on a farm and another to work on a roof without a harness.
So it got me thinking about the situations which we ask our young ministry workers to go into. Here might be a sample add:
Church leader: Will you work in our church unsupervised with no support but with all the responsibility, you will receive complaints from parents and church members, you will burn out after 18 months and probably hate the church for a while?
Young Leader: Sure
Church Leader: Oh and we will pay you less than you would get at a fast food restaurant but work longer hours
Young Leader: Sure
If you think this is a far fetched situation then why is it all too common? Why do we ask people to take on children ministry or youth ministry for 8-10 hours per week? Many young people take on jobs in ministry for low pay with little supervision because we take advantage of their interest to serve the Church. My hope is that we reduce the turn over rate of young ministry workers by putting into place support systems for our youngest leaders. I know some churches can’t pay any more but lets give them the best mentoring and supervision available, lets disciple them like Jesus would.
Would you do what we ask young worker to do?