INTERACTION WITH STUDENTS

Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
— 1 Tim. 3:1-7

As an adult you assume a certain amount of personal risk and responsibility for the students you are around. Be wise with your actions and words. Act responsibly and appropriately, always being aware that the students you are influencing are minors. 

  • Remember you are not a certified counselor so you can only listen and share your own relevant experiences. If you feel a student needs to talk with a counselor, please notify the Youth Pastor immediately. 

  • You should never seek to be alone with a student in a private place (a home, or even riding in your car.) If you need to meet with an individual student, you must meet in a place that provides the ability for them to share a personal conversation while making sure that you are still visible to other people. You can always find a private corner in a public place.   This rule applies to both opposite genders and same genders. 

  • If you plan to communicate or interact with a student personally during the week, you should make their parents/guardians aware of who you are and why you are communicating with their child. 

  • You may meet one on one with students as long as their parents OK it.  And always remember to have a purpose for the meeting (not just to “hang out” because you’re bored.)  

  • If a student of the opposite sex begins to confide personal information with you, lead them to a leader of their same sex. 

  • Guard your words and actions so that they are never misunderstood as angry or abusive.

  • Cynical comments and a sarcastic tone isn't something all students understand.  Your words have power to hurt, confuse, or even damage a student.  Know your audience and err on the side of kind and gentle words.  Let's build everyone up with or words and tone. 

  • Be sure you do not interact or speak with a student in a way that can be misconstrued as flirting.  This also applies between volunteers.  Students watch how we interact with each other and can wrongfully assume relationships are more than they are.  Guard the way you act around one another.    

  • Leaders are never allowed to date a student regardless of how close in age. 

  • An adult leader is never permitted to hit, slap, or unnecessarily restrain a student. 

  • If you suspect abuse or neglect, you must (by law) make the Youth Pastor aware of your suspicion.