Boost Youth Workers' Safety Mindset

Keep the fun in youth ministry by keeping kids safe.

As summer turns to fall, students are returning from summer trips, camps and family vacations. Are you ready to welcome them back? Whether you kick off the new school year with a fun-filled weekend or hop right into your normal programming, the back-to-school season is a great time to build momentum for your youth program and transition new students to youth group.

It's also an ideal time to review the safety mindset of youth group leaders--a new school year also means new challenges to consider and new volunteers to train. Brotherhood Mutual's Safety Library has great free resources to get you started.

Train and Screen Volunteers

Volunteers are valuable because they have a desire to see students grow, and they give up their free time to make that happen. But the most enthusiastic volunteer might not be the best volunteer. Select any youth leader or youth worker carefully. Conducting background screening, providing adequate training, and having an appropriate number of adults in relation to the number of students are important points to consider as the youth program unfolds.

By screening and training volunteers, churches can ensure that volunteers are the right fit for the ministry. Brotherhood Mutual has these free resources to help you find and develop great volunteers:

Be Serious about Supervision

Enlist volunteers who can maintain control of the group. The ability to exert the appropriate amount of authority is essential to maintaining a safe and fun atmosphere for everyone. Someone who gives in easily to pressure or lacks confrontational skills might be challenged by teens, who often test the limits of authority.

Read more on the importance of supervision:

Activity Participation Agreements

To protect themselves from liability, ministries should have students and parents sign an activity participation agreement. Such an agreement will help them know what to expect and agree to take responsibility for any risks that an activity may pose.

Because most students will be under 18, this is an easy way to communicate with parents about youth group activities. An activity participation agreement opens a venue for parents to ask any questions they have before an event takes place, instead of questioning a youth leader afterward.

For more information on activity participation agreements, check out these resources:

Keep Games Safe

Any activity has the possibility of being dangerous. That's why it's important to think through each one before you make it part of the youth group activities list. Great activities are a perfect way to get students interested in youth group, but safety will help keep them coming back.

  • Crazy Games at Youth Group
    Games are a great way to get kids moving, but leaders may not be aware of the dangers of activities that may seem harmless in the beginning.
  • Youth Activities Checklist
    This checklist will help you consider more ways to keep kids safe.
  • Manage High-Risk Youth Activities
    Youth group is a great place to challenge students, but make sure your ministry has done all it can to avoid the dangers of high-risk activities.