Below is an excerpt from the training manual I’m putting together for our youth volunteers. Feel free to copy/innovate for your own purposes.
Almost all of us has been there before. We are surfing Facebook (or stalking) and we notice that a student has made a comment, status update, or uploaded a picture that we deem inappropriate. What do we do?
1. Contact the student personally.
- When you make contact with the student, the first thing you should do is stress your love and care for them. Remind them that no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes. Remind them that as ambassadors of Christ, we are called to be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2). Then approach the issue with humility and grace.
2. Contact the parent.
- If the student ignores your attempt for contact or blows you off, we suggest that you contact the parent. Explain to them the situation and again, express your love for their child. The parent might be somewhat guarded and possibly defensive. As you know, this is normal for any parent. Approach the conversation with humility and grace.
3. Contact a student pastor.
- If you’ve tried to contact the student and the parent without receptiveness, contact a student pastor and ask us to make contact with the student. As a leader, if you see something, we expect you to try to handle it. As always, we’re here for you, but we want you to feel empowered to make a difference too.
- We’re always receptive and grateful if you keep us informed of situations while you’re trying to rectify them.
How does your Student Ministry train volunteers to handle similar situations?
- The politics of youth ministry (averageyouthministry.com)
- Parent meeting (celenehernandez.wordpress.com)
- What if your Lead Pastor asks for your facebook password? (youthmin.org)
- Youth Ministry Metrics (everythingpastor.com)