Valuable Information to Help You Protect Your Ministry
With the warm weather approaching that means summer activities. The first thing that springs to mind in particular is youth activities. My youth group growing up was notorious for constantly creating new and dangerous games. No rules wiffle ball, which included physically running with bases, tackling people and at one point using the ball to tag someone out. I told you, we were dangerous! Hopefully your summer plans are much safer but how do you plan on communicating them to your youth group members?
Have I lost you with all these words? Technology has become such a prevalent and easy way of communicating and is primarily your main source of contact with teenagers. However, if safe guards are not in place the church could be liable for inappropriate communication. This is why we recommend adopting a Communication Policy. This will outline what your ministry deems appropriate methods of communication along with a consent form that allows the parents to decide how they would like you to contact their child.
Sarah’s parents have signed off that texting is an approved form of communication for their teenager. The church bus is running late and you need to change the drop off time of an event from 6:00pm to 6:30pm. You can easily text Sarah the update, but it should be a group text that includes Sarah’s mother as well.
Pastor Tom, the youth director has a facebook page and gets lots of friend requests from his youth group. However, he does not accept them on his personal page because he does not represent the church ministry on his private accounts and therefore does not interact with the minors. Instead, he creates a Church facebook account or a youth group page and invites the teens to follow that account. He has assigned multiple youth leaders to be administrators on that account so that all communication is transparent and monitored by multiple parties.
As with all things documentation is important. You need evidence of adopting this Communications policy in your meeting minutes, a sign in sheet showing all youth workers have received this policy and the signed consent form from each parent.
While you cannot prevent bad situations from occurring, you can remove the liability from the church in showing you were not negligent in addressing this communication issues.
Clients: To download the Communications Policy & Consent form please visit our library. Simple log-in on the home screen. If you do not have an account, click the register button. From there select the Ministry Risk Management Tab at the top of the page and select Risk Management Documents. Scroll down to the Risk Transfer section and once selected each document will automatically download.
How to Correct Your Church Communication before Tragedy Strikes