February 27, 2009

Safety vs Pushing The Limit

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 11:34 am

Safety vs. Pushing The Limit is always a battle in youth ministry.  Having fun, but still keeping it safe.

It’s always been there in my years as a youth minister.  At my 1st church I caught 3 teens on the roof of the house we met for our weekly Bible study.  I chewed them out & probably still have some repenting to do for how I said what I said to them.

Catching teens jumping off a cliff/tree into a shallow part of a river.  They thought I was the meansest youth minster ever.

The time I did summer camp on the beach.  On our first day the red flags were out.  Every other youth minister let his group get in the ocean.  I was the worst/meanest youth minster ever.  I know ’cause one of my guys told me.  Day 2 still the red flag.  Their opinion of me didn’t improve.  Thankfully, during the afternoon of day 2 the red flag was replaced w/ the yellow one.

Our group is suppose to be going to Athens, Greece this summer for a mission trip.  It’s been in the works for over 2 years.  But then this stuff happened (& still hasn’t settled down).  I met w/ the group & parents this week to inform them that we are still going on a mission trip, but just not to Greece.  We will still advance the Gospel the week of July 11-18, but just in a place that we are confident is much safer.

Safety is always on my mind as a youth minster.  It’s why I can seldom really enjoy any youth event.  I even had one of my former teens tell me the other day while catching up w/ him over lunch  “Man, I wish I had your job.  You get to take all those vacations with the youth group.”  I responded to him about like I did to the guys who I caught on the roof of the house in my early days in youth ministry.


1 Comment »

  1. I’m right there with you. We have to be vigilant. Parents expect us to keep their teens hyper safe (perhaps even more so than they would be with their own kids). I had the same experience of the kids trying to jump off a cliff into a river. It happened on a float trip. To make matters worse, one of the adult leaders was with them, getting ready to jump himself and they all were standing next to a sign warning them that jumping off the bluff could result in injury or death. I told them all to get down or we were packing up and going home. Needless to say, I became the “meanest youth minister ever” that day. Badge of honor!

    Comment by Brian Kirk — February 27, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

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