Well-managed youth work can avoid most, if not all, of the risk of a pastor or volunteer sexually abusing a child. A robust risk management program must include several components: And then this list of ONE PERSON who is now my youth pastoral hero: I don`t think a youth group can function well without rules. However, many churches and groups do not create formal guidelines for young leaders or participants. Unwritten rules aren`t really rules, and you certainly can`t enforce them very well. And rules that cannot be enforced are absolutely useless. Just using the group search feature to find out what THOUSANDS of young pastors across the country have done or are trying to do to reach students is almost like graduating from seminary. Hey, while we often get a bad reputation for not thinking through all our ideas to the end, there`s no denying that youth ministry is the most innovative part of any church! Or you can just ask what the rules are in your community because something happened to students` work! If you`ve been part of youth work long enough, you were there yourself. A rule or policy pops up and you think, “Yes. That`s what we did. Below is a list of rules and guidelines for rooted student ministries.
We are called by Christ to have high standards, and we want to see those who are active in our ministry and in your lives. This list of rules is not exhaustive, but it is intended to give you an indication of what we expect. We ask that you follow this list at any event sponsored by a youth group at or outside church. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Jeff. What rules are there in your church because of something you, a student, or that “former student pastor who is absolutely not me” have done? Read to hear my thoughts on the rules for youth groups and guidelines for youth workers. When creating these guidelines for young leaders and participants, consider areas such as confidentiality, respectful discussions, etc. And contrary to what many think, students have no problem with the rules. They have rules at school, at sports, and at home (hopefully). So having rules in the church and youth group won`t be a surprise.
If your youth group owns or uses a building or hall, you may also want to hang some general rules on it. Ours include banning illegal music, software and games (we had a computer and sound system), cleaning up afterwards and taking care of our business. The rules provide clarity for everyone involved, whether they are parents, youth, volunteers, leaders, or Church members. If you can give everyone a copy of the rules that apply to them, there will never be a discussion about what is allowed and what is not (unless you forgot to mention something, in which case you could suddenly be very busy)! Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a serious crime and can lead to a civil lawsuit against the Church that oversees youth ministry. In many cases of sexual abuse in youth ministry, a church failed to adequately screen its staff and volunteers, or to monitor its interactions with children. The family of an abused child can sue the Church for any form of neglect, whether because of the hiring process (negligent selection or retention) or staff management (negligent supervision). All parents may be advised to sign a consent form if you are taking their children on a trip or retreat. Be sure to list the rules about which part of the consent form remains in the hands of the parents. In this way, they cannot claim ignorance. My advice is to ask parents to discuss the rules with their children; Let them take some responsibility in this area.
Make it clear in your rules which crimes will result in you being sent home so parents and teens know in advance. Reaching young people is a goal of many churches. But since child abuse scandals in the church have been making headlines for many years, church leaders should take precautions before beginning youth ministry in their congregation. Failure to take risks seriously can expose young people to terrible danger and put the Church in significant legal danger. Here are some other rules you should follow in our work with youth: The consequences for a church sued in civil court can be devastating. Although in some cases, victims are primarily interested in getting the church to take certain actions – firing the offending pastor, improving governance, etc. – Most lawsuits will seek substantial financial compensation. In addition, the reputation of the Church will suffer irreparable damage and many members will be able to go to other communities. You can`t rule it all out. Try to use common sense and remove the urge to wrap every little thing in a ruler. That being said, here are seven topics you`d like to talk about: hugging, kissing, touching couples, and contact between volunteers/leaders and students.
A fairly common rule is the side hug, which states that volunteers and leaders should not give students head-on hugs. I don`t know if it`s practical, but I appreciate the thinking behind it. I`m a big fan of a dress code. This can avoid a lot of discussion about acceptable elements and styles. This thread has exploded since the last day and it is a riot to read. Here are some of my personal favorites: Think of the 4 Bs: no visible, buttocks, boxers, and bellies. In addition. You can search for “zoom games,” “senior pastor problems,” or “nerve guns” and probably get some ideas about what you`re going through. If you`re not part of the DYM Facebook community, you really should be.