Thursday, May 1, 2008

Disruptive Teen


We have one male youth, who has problems with authority. We had a situation at the end of February, that he wanted to play his bad non-Christian music during the [fellowship] time after the service, but Christian music was already playing. And we didn’t let him. He got so mad that he destroyed a table and now he doesn’t come anymore. I say to him on MSN (Chat) every time I see him online, that he is „most welcome“ in the youth group from our side it is ok and we love him and he should come again. But he wants an [apology] from our leaders, that he couldn’t play his „non-Christian“ music.

What do you think we should do? I think we shouldn’t and can’t apologize, because this [is the same as saying he is] right and [then] he will do it again. Perhaps you have to know, that in the last year he asked me [if he could] be a leader, and we talked also about the biblical lifestyle of a leader (because he has to change some things), and he didn’t want to make any changes in his life. {He says] we should accept him as he is or he doesn’t want to be a leader. That is pride and I said it in a really friendly way to him and encouraged him to think about it and also ask God. I think in the actual matter it is also a form of pride and we should wait and [only every now and then] in the chat encourage him to come again. But how do you handle such situations?


While we are called at times to leave the 99 and go after the one, you can’t neglect the rest of the group for the sake of this young man. And the fact that he has damaged some church property shows an absolute lack of respect for you, your leaders, the youth group and the church. If it were me, I would allow him to come back to the group, but only on my terms. And this would include him apologizing for the destruction of church property before he is allowed back into the group. If he is willing to adjust, then and only then would I let him back into the group.

We welcome teens, but everything we do is based on respect. We respect them, and we expect them to respect us… and our property. We had a group of Turkish Muslim teens coming to a group for awhile. They started off very disrespectful, causing problems, etc. We explained to them that they were welcome, but they would have to act respectfully. I explained that if I went into their house or their mosque, I would act respectfully, even if I didn’t agree with everything they did. And I expected the same from them. They seemed to understand, but I had to keep going over the rules and my expectations. Proper boundaries are a part of any healthy relationship.

Most of our time needs to be invested in our core students, especially those that are leading or giving of themselves and their time. If we’re not careful, we’ll end up wasting time on people that really don’t want to be helped. They just want attention. We need to give the greatest portion of our time to our leaders, our core group and those that are “producing” in our ministries. It’s not that we don’t value the others, but we want to be wise managers of the resources we have, one of which is our time.

Prayer Team


I have a question about a prayer team. Do you have a special prayer team (not the regular youth leaders) for the youth group, the youth and the leader team... A team which can in several cases pray for theses cases and make intercession? If yes, how do you organize this prayer team. Because we [received] an „offer“ and suggestion from a member of our church, that they would like to do this.


In response to your questions… we don’t have a special prayer team for our youth group, but Robin and I do have a prayer team for our ministry.  I send them a monthly update, along with specific prayer requests.  As for a prayer team for the youth, I would ask this person to give you a list of names of people that are interested in getting involved… that will show you how serious this person is.  When they have a group of people that are committed to making it happen, I would first get with all of them and make sure they really understand the youth ministry vision.  One of the best ways to impart vision to people is to pray it out with them.  It will also show them how you would like them to be praying for the youth group.  Then I would keep them updated at least once a month on upcoming events and anything you would like them to be praying for.  Regular communication with the team will help them to see your heart and really get behind you.  Also, be sure to maintain confidentiality… there will be some situations that you won’t be able to share with them.

Welcome to Youth Ministry Q & A

The purpose of this blog is to assist those that work with youth.

Having worked with youth for over 20 years, and having served in a teaching/coaching and mentoring capacity for youth workers for the past ten years, we have learned that for every person that asks a question there are twenty more that would like to have the same question answered.

This blog is an attempt to share what we've learned through successes, observations and many mistakes.  We hope it will be a blessing to you!

Jon & Robin