A few years back, we rented out one of the local schools for a mission trip we were hosting. I happened to come across some students of mine one morning who had taken some desks chairs out of the classrooms. They were having races down the hallway with friends pushing them at full speed.
As I stumbled across this scene I envisioned a young teenage girl flying out of her seat as she was being pushed at mock speed by a young, growing teenage boy. As she goes flying through the air she lands, not softly on the ground, but instead breaking her wrist or bruising herself badly from the early morning race through the hallways. Then, I thought, and I’ll be the one making the phone call to mom and dad. I’ll have to explain what happened, and why, under my leadership, I allowed for it.
As you can imagine, I quickly shut the race down. Now the engines that were firing at full speed were being pulled back into the parking garage. The students, of course, weren’t happy, because in their mind, I had killed their fun. Little did they know, I was protecting them and the integrity of the youth ministry.Here’s the thing about parents, they won’t send their child somewhere If they believe their child won’t be well taken of or kept safe. Click To Tweet
If their child is being bullied or constantly put in situations that harm their physical safety, you can almost guarantee that parent will find a new youth group for their child to be part of.
Sure, I get it, some things are unavoidable, like the time a junior high girl stepped on an old rusty nail in her bare feet at summer camp and we had to take her to the urgent care clinic. Parents understand that accidents are going to happen. But, how cognizant are we of this great need that parents have to know that their kids are safe?
Parents can be your biggest advocate. If they know that you’re going to love their child, take good care of them and create a safe place for them, then they’re going to trust you.Trust, with parents, in youth ministry, is everything. Click To Tweet
If creating a safe environment for your students hasn’t been on your top priority list, consider making a shift in your leadership. Trust me, it will only benefit you, your students and your longevity in youth ministry.