Driving a school bus is not as difficult as people think. I have heard from a number of people who say that all the switches intimidate them. Let me calm you all down by telling you that the switches are mostly heaters, fans, and lights. You still drive the bus the same way you drive your car.
During my time at the bus company I was often in charge of training new drivers. We would drive around and I would try to help them develop their skills as a school bus driver. One of the most challenging things for some people was getting used to taking turns a little wider. That also meant looking at mirrors and being able to determine, with the mirrors, where your bus was located. There were drivers every year that hit mail boxes and stop signs because they just didn’t look before they turned. One driver even hit the same mailbox multiple times in one school year.
I drove school bus for 4 years and only had one time that I hit something. I was making a left turn on a very sharp corner and I knew that I needed all the space I could get. I had made this turn every day, so I was getting comfortable with it. That was my problem. I turned the corner without checking my left side mirrors. On this particular day there was a small car there. As I turned, the back tire hit the tail light of this car. The kids immediately went into hyper mode and asked me if I was going to jail. I felt bad, but the damage was small and no one was hurt. Lesson learned.
We all have blind spots. This is especially true for people who lead in different ministries. We need people to speak into our lives to help us see the big picture and act accordingly. If we don’t know something is there, we might continue on the course we are on and be headed for some sort of disaster.
In youth ministry this might be unintentional things you have said that rub people the wrong way. It might be inadvertent programming mistakes that seem like a nice idea to you, but have actually made a whole bunch of people upset. It could be that you are living in ‘messiah’ mode and you seem to have made yourself believe that you need to be at the ready every moment of every day. There are people, mirrors if you will, where we need to look in order to get the big picture before continuing. If we don’t do this, we crash and end up burning out.
Have you seen this happen in your life? I would love to hear some stories of how you learned some of these things from other people.
This is part of The Sunday Series “My School Bus Youth Ministry.” If you missed others, check out The Sunday Series tab above.