Being proactive is more than being prepared. It is important to be prepared, but being proactive is learning to act rather than to react. It is taking the lead in activity. It is very important to be prepared in each area of the work of the bus ministry. For example, we must have the bus prepared. That means on Saturday the bus needs to be cleaned, fueled, and made ready. The program needs to be organized. Being prepared for the program means to have a song list, a Bible verse memory list, props, candy, games, workers in place, along with everything else in the program. Being prepared is very important, and it is the first step to being proactive.
Being “proactive” means that we take the lead in activity. We get the riders busy in doing what we want them to do, rather than waiting for them to become bored or misbehave and then try to get their attention with a song or game.
It is very important that there not be dead or dull moments on the bus or in the entire day’s program. Dead time is where problems arise. We cannot allow children to take the lead and the workers to become reactive rather than proactive!
As a pastor I work to keep things moving along in the church order of service. I do not like a single moment of dead time. I have each service organized with an order of service that keeps things moving from the time the choir opens to the final “Amen”.
From the time the first riders get on the bus there needs to be interaction going to keep them busy and engaged. As other riders get on and join the program, we must involve them quickly in the program. Here are several observations and ideas about having a program that is proactive.
- Being proactive keeps everyone engaged in the program.
- This means the workers as well as the riders
- Being proactive is the most effective tool in preventing bad behavior or discipline problems.
- Being proactive is work!
- It is easier to be lazy and react to the children rather than to have a planned program and be aggressive in leading that program. Being proactive is work from the time of preparation to the actual leading of the program. However, I would rather work hard and accomplish my goals, than work hard just to keep order.
- Being proactive keeps things moving.
- This is far more exciting to the riders than you guessing along and hoping things turn out well. As you know, bad behavior on the bus ride negatively impacts even the good riders in attitude and enjoyment.
- Being proactive requires others to be involved.
- Just like in a church service that is well organized and moving, there are several folks involved. While the pastor leads the service, there are several others involved that lead in singing, prayer, special music, offertories, ushers, etc. This is important on the bus route as well. Involve others but keep it all moving. Be sure that everyone in the program is prepared and organized.
- Being proactive helps during times of disturbance.
- It is obvious that there will be times of disturbance.however, when there is an exciting program going on, the disturbance will not be the biggest event going on. It can be dealt with while the leader is conducting the program.
- Being proactive helps excite even the leaders of a program.
- Often I will say something like,”Now, in just a few minutes we are going to sing one of our all time favorite songs!” This helps to build excitement for everyone. It also lets everyone know that you are prepared and personally excited to lead the program and service.
Sometimes after doing something aver and over again (like leading a program or children’s church service) we often get lax. We can certainly save ourselves a lot of headache and difficulties by getting some excitement and enthusiasm back in the program! Spend time this week preparing each area of the program and service. Then, on this Sunday, lead with enthusiasm! Be proactive in each and every part – from the first hallelujah to the last amen!
Pastor Jeff Fugate
Clays Mill Baptist Church