The World’s Scariest Fish Bowl

by on in Leadership, Strategy.
The World's Scariest Fish Bowl

Every other week here at North Point, all the Volunteer Coordinators in Student Ministry meet together to make sure everyone is still pulling in the same directions. And every once in a while, the world’s scariest fish bowl comes out during those meetings.


It’s what happens when someone asks you a tricky question… and you know they’re waiting for your response. In this bowl are a list of the hard questions you get asked by Small Group Leaders or parents. They are the questions that have no hard or fast answers. Things like…

  • Can my high schooler drive our students to an outing if their parents say it is okay?
  • I am a current leader in your ministry and you don’t know this but my wife an I have been separated for six months.
  • Can my friend come to camp to help out?
  • Can I be my son/daughter’s small group leader?
  • Why do you play secular songs on Sunday?
  • I’d like to pay for another student to attend camp, can I do that? Will I get tax credit for it?
  • Do I need medical release forms to take my small group on an outing?
  • Why should I be a member?
  • I got a DUI last weekend, what should I do now?
  • What is your stance on [insert controversial topic here]?

When these questions come up, our staffers talk about them in our weekly meetings. What should we say? What shouldn’t we say? Who has dealt with this situation before? The conversation amongst staff is the most valuable training there is.

Now, I know not everyone has a staff to talk through this stuff over with. However, you should have some group you can go to.

Maybe it’s the rest of your church staff. Maybe you know some other student pastors, maybe you just need to talk through these with your spouse. The bottom line is that you need to be discussing them. Once again, there are no right or wrong answers to most of these questions, but you need to think about how you are going to handle them. Because, one day, they will pop up in your ministry.

How about you? When these tricky questions come up, who can you bounce ideas around with? What’s the trickiest question you’ve ever been asked?