Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    "Safety First" Should Not Be A Youth Ministry Afterthought

    Mark Oestreicher has a new post about some of the "crazy" and "stupid" things he has done in youth ministry and many other readers have chimed in to share their experiences.  I myself remember doing some pretty stupid/crazy (i.e. unsafe) stuff with teens in my early years, sometimes because I was too dumb to know we were being unsafe and sometimes because I just thought it would be cool or fun.  

    That said, let me share my number one safety issue that I wish more youth pastors took seriously:  when driving anywhere (whether it's down the block or halfway across the country), all youth and adults in our care should be wearing seat belts -- no exceptions.  Relatedly, when traveling on highways in youth vans and the like, follow the rules about maintaining safe stopping distance between yourself and the cars in front of you (at least one car length for every 10mph).  Tailgating at 70mph in a van or bus isn't a good idea for anybody.

    Other safety tips we should remember?


    Marv Nelson said...

    Test out games before you do them.

    Some games may seem awesome (and may even be in some Youth Ministry books labeled as such) but we need to test the games first! For example: I had a game I thought would be sweet, awesome and funny called: Hot Coco Mix Up. You start in the kitchen, put powdered hot coco mix in your mouth and try to make it liquified all while running into the next room where you will then spit the (hopefully) now liquified coco mix into a pitcher. The first team to fill the pitcher with mix would win. I failed to test the game which seemed great and most kids ended up having a couhing fit because the mix didn't mix and they were running and inhaling the mix.

    I learned then to test games, no matter how silly they seemed. I also steered away from gross games of this nature because of this experience.

    Brian said...

    Marv, I can echo your thoughts here. I've had youth play games (some right out of youth ministry books) that, in retrospect, we shouldn't have been playing. Testing them in advance is great advice.