Make sure you go over THIS with your team

Last weekend, two things happened. For starters, on Friday word was coming out via the local news that a youth pastor in the area was arrested for touching a teenage girl inappropriately and sending inappropriate text messages. Then on Saturday our Student Ministry team (staff and volunteers) met together for our annual fall kickoff team building gathering.

Do you think what this youth pastor was arrested for was brought up in our meeting? You bet it was.

boundariesEvery year that I have been involved in student ministry the topic of boundaries and appropriateness is always discussed because unfortunately what this youth pastor did happens a little too often. I am sure there a variety of reasons why this kind of stuff happens. But my job isn’t to “reason” this away. It’s to protect my students and my leaders. As a ministry head, I am ultimately responsible for what happens in the program.

And YOU are responsible for your ministry and those under it. Even if you aren’t the head leader, if your ministry does not have a policy or isn’t enforcing the policy, you own to your church and ministry to help make sure one gets in place.

If you don’t have a policy, I would strongly encourage you to get one…ASAP. If you need help in crafting one, I am happy to send you a copy of mine. Simply email me and I will send it to you.

So when you meet with you student ministry team next make sure you go over your policy and expectations for them. And when they ask why you are being so strict you can show them this and explain to them how this church obviously didn’t take it seriously enough. And because of this, lives are changed forever and a church’s ministry is ruined.  All because boundaries were crossed.  All because there was a lack of accountability.

As a ministry head, whether it is over a student ministry or another ministry, it is YOUR responsibility to cover what is appropriate and what are the boundaries every year. You cannot assume people know and you cannot allow there to be a lack of clarity of what is appropriate level of behavior.

What do you think? What do you do with your student ministry team to cover appropriateness and boundaries? Share below or on social media using #ymsidekick in your post.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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