Add "Safety" to the Youth Leader Mindset

While fun is at the forefront of a youth leader's mind, it is important to plan for safety

Plan before you go. Take the time to assess key elements that may go into a youth event. For example:

  • Are there enough volunteers?
  • Do they understand our church policies?
  • Has everyone signed an activity participation agreement?
  • Have I communicated to the parents what we will be doing and when we will be finished?

Stop problems before they snowball. It's the leader's role to stop an activity or situation from going too far. Teenagers aren't likely to be levelheaded in times of tough competition or high emotions. Be ready to step in when it counts.

Communicate your expectations. Tell your youth what you expect from them. For example, before leaving for camp, youth leaders can reinforce safety guidelines and explain why it's important to follow them.

Learn from near misses. Take the time to deal with near misses and eliminate the build-up of potential risks. Embarrassment or fear should not stop a youth leader from looking for solutions to what could be a growing problem.

  • Does Your Youth Group Play Crazy Games?

    Games play an important part in today’s church youth groups because they lay the groundwork for healthy social interaction. But physical games can end with someone getting hurt.  Be smart with the games you play in youth group.

  • Background Screening: Summer Volunteers

    Just because school is out doesn’t mean your ministry can take a vacation from safety. Properly screen and train all staff and volunteers who work with youth, even if they're filling summer positions.