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10 things that should be banned from youth ministry

I was thinking about this earlier and thought it might be fun to come up with a list of things that should be banned from youth ministry.

Sweatpants with words written across the butt

  1. Sweatpants with words written across the butt.
  2. Gossip and rumors.
  3. Farts during a serious lesson (both loud and silent!).
  4. Lock-ins.
  5. Random donations that make my office look like a thrift shop.
  6. Fundraisers.
  7. P.D.A.
  8. Mountain Dew and red Kool-aid for Jr. Highers.
  9. “We’ve always done it this way…”
  10. Smelly broken couches from the ’60s.

What other ideas do you have to add to this list? :)


Posted on April 6, 2007

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  • Ally

    Any shiny or reflective surface that enables self-absorbed teenage girls to marvel at themselves during a lesson. I taught freshman girls at DNow this weekend. Pffff….

  • Tim

    Nice one, Ally! Gotta hide all the metal spoons, huh?

  • junior highers.

  • Ally

    Mehhh….Metal spoons, PLASTIC spoons, shiny red plastic cups, televisions, light bulbs, windows, marble countertops….They’re all extremely detrimental to teaching about Jesus. Lol.

  • Tim

    Junior highers?! No way man, I love Jr. highers! :D

  • alright here’s my list

    (1) overly anal parents
    (2) SPAM
    (3) elderly people who think they can make rules against people cutting cookies in the parking lot and knocking down metal parking poles at a moments notice and blame it on the youth when it happened 2 days after we met.
    (4) micro-management
    (5) senior highers that are TOO COOL for anything
    (6) people that throw a hissy fit when you break door, tear off a window screen playing dodge ball in the fellowship hall

  • Tim

    @ Ally: lol! Wow, you have some very creative (desperate?) girls.

    @ Chris: Sounds like some of these are written from experience, huh? Gotta love those people who develop our Christian character. ;)

  • you could say I have been around the ministry-block once or twice with these. I am lucky though. Our pastor seriously believes in me and has my back on anything. Anytime we break something it NEVER comes out of the youth budget to get it repaired. But still there is a certain circle that makes an issue of it every time. We just smile and say, “ministry is messy..and sometimes things get broke.” HAHAAHA!

  • How about games that embarrass kids, make them feel stupid, or are simply aren’t fun.

    Any ice-breaker.

  • manipulation.

    event drivenness that “defines” our vocation.

  • I’m going to have to go with…..cell phones!!

  • Ally

    How about those people (even youth workers) that are more concerned the popular kids who grew up in church, have all the opportunities in the world, and would rather go party and drink and have sex than show up at church, even though they know better, than the “kids in black.” You know those kids. The ones that wear all black and chains and have greasy hair that is “too long.” The kids with piercings. The ones that don’t blend in with the anal-retentive. But the ones who come willingly and want to learn about Christ. The ones that are God-seeking instead of self-serving.

    I think the people that don’t want them there should not only be banned from youth ministry…But from life. : )

    Also, parents who blame youth leaders (esp. the youth minister) for their kids lack of desire to go to church. The ones who supply the liquor and birth control and refrain from having deep conversations with their children because they “don’t want them to hate me!” Oh yes, I have heard those words. The ones who send their kids to church for discipline, and expect the youth group to provide all the spritual leadership their kids receive. It’s called godly parenting. Grow up.

  • Put-downs: not allowed against one’s self, people who are there, or people who are not there. My wife institued a rule that if you put down a person (including yourself), you have to affirm that person in some way. One youth group I heard her say, “I never thought I’d have to say this, but affirm Britney Spears right now!”

  • Uhm, can I nominate Sunday School?

  • Dang, and I was considering promoting our upcoming ministry events w/ some booty and bust advertising on sweat pants and sweat shirts.

  • Jason Dunn

    * Texting during lessons
    * Eye Rolling

    That is a great list! I have to say a big amen to the sweatpants with stuff written on the butt. That burns me so bad….

  • How about:
    – week old stale potatoe chips given to the youth as a “donation.”
    – people who have no connection to teenagers but seem to have all the answers for you as to how the youth ministry should be run.

  • OK, my wife got so tired of the cell phones during our meeting that she took up a cell phone offering. Most participated and if they didn’t they knew they couldn’t take it out after we took them up. She’s a hoot.

  • Tim

    Hmm… that’s weird. I’ve never had a problem with cell phones. It’s never even come up, actually.

  • I only had problems with it in groups of 60ish or more. It’s easier to blend in. I thought is was hilarious passing he plates though.

    How is your hearing BTW. Some of my kids tried the ole my youth pastor is too old and can’t hear that high pitched ring tone. The one that retailers used to use to get kids to leave the store.

  • Tim

    My hearing is actually not that good due to a tumor and multiple surgeries growing up. My left ear has been reconstructed and I easily loose any noise or voice when there’s a lot of background noise. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had a problem with cell phones yet! :) But none of my volunteers have ever said anything about cell phones either. *shrugs*

  • Chris

    I am with you on the banning fundraisers. How cool a message would it be to our youth that says “our church supports you 100% – anything you want to do, let us know and we will help out!” I recently asked for a love offering for church camp and was asked – why can’t the youth do a fundraiser to raise money for it? Seems it would be more meaningful if they took some ownership in it. When I replied that it would be awesome if our church family showed their support by just donating money – I was met with blank stares and the suggestion of selling Krispy Kreme donuts.

  • Tim

    Oh man, that kinda attitude from the congregation would make me pretty mad. You should’ve been like, “Donate the money you’d spend on the doughnuts instead and save yourself the cholesterol.” ;)

    Why do people always want something in return for their donation? It kinda seems to take the sacrificial element out of it.

  • Chris

    What is even more frustrating is I have three children of my own and in one week’s time my 3rd grader came home with a sheet to sell cookie dough to raise money for playground equipment, my freshman in high school came home selling jewelry for a Spanish club trip and my junior in high school came home selling magazines for prom. What are we turning our kids into? Little Amway salesmen? And the church wants me to pile one more fundraiser on top of these kids? This isn’t counting boy scout popcorn, girl scout cookies, and all the traveling sports teams that sell things.

    What a perfect world it would be if we put our priorities in funding activites for our children instead of getting ahead of the Jones.

  • Ally

    I know that a lot of OUR congregation felt that the kids should work for it…They needed to “earn” their money. “Give them a sense of responsibility.”

    I reminded them that a lot of these kids weren’t Christians. I asked them what boat we’d be in if Jesus had told us that we had to work for HIS offering…

    But what do I know? I’m only 20…

    : )

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  • AG

    I’m surprised you’ve not run into the cell phone problem. I teach a group of abou 8-12 students and have had one pull his out in the middle of closing prayer and proceed to talk on it. Not to mention the times they’ve been used during lesson. Don’t know if it’s just a lack of respect or what.

    I’m pretty new at this and still trying to figure a lot of things out. Thanks for this resource

  • Lynn Bolten

    Leaving notes to clean up after kids… Dropping wet swim trunks in front of youth pastor’s door that some kid left and somehow it’s the pastor’s fault.

  • J.D

    freshmen who don't seem to care about anything except misbehaving, but then again, they need to learn about God too so…

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