Did You Really Mean It?
That’s what the middle school principle just called and asked me.
In my article about How To Get On Campus I shared with you the concept of “under-promise and over-perform.” Good practice to remember here. When I first met with the principal I told him I’d be willing to serve in any way possible. Well… he just quoted me verbatim:
“Did you mean it when you said you’d like to help me in any way possible? Because I have a group of ADD and “special needs” kids that really need our help, and to be honest, we just don’t have the resources and personal to give them the one-on-one attention they need. Do you have any experience with special needs kids? Do you have any volunteers who would be willing to spend time tutoring them after school?”
When the principal asked me this, I panicked. I didn’t want to over-commit and tell him, “Count on me! I’ll have 5 tutors for you next Tuesday!” So I tried to buy some time. I simply responded, “Let me make some phone calls and get back to you within the week.”
I’m learning a lot through this situation. First, don’t be scared to buy yourself some time. A principal would rather you say, “Give me a few days” than promise something you can’t deliver. This simple practice of asking for time gave me the ability to pray about this, consider my resources and make an informed commitment.
I’d love to tell you the end of the story… but I just got the phone call. So I had better get to work! (Are any of you in the Sacramento area and have a heart for special needs kids?)
Don’t be afraid to say, “Let me think about this and get back to you Thursday.” Buy yourself some time to pray, consider your resources and make an informed decision.
is a 20-year youth ministry veteran who has worked full time for Campus Life for the last 14 years. He serves on two campuses weekly and runs several campus ministries both on and off campus in partnerships with local churches. Rob has been interviewed several times in Jonathan's podcasts on TheSource4YM.com and Jonathan drew from his expertise throughout his book, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. Rob serves on the national Campus Life team at Youth for Christ USA.