Life-giving rules

Our youth ministry has a set of ground rules that we reiterate every time we gather. They’re basic things that establish how we relate to and interact with one another. Our ground rules include:

1. When one person talks, everyone else listens. To help make sure only one person talks at a time, raise your hand if you have something you’d like to say.

2. You know who you are so lean in and out accordingly. If you typically talk a lot, lean out to make space for others to share. If you don’t typically talk, lean in because we want to hear from you. Your voice matters.

3. Everyone’s opinion is welcome. It’s OK to disagree with one another but do so with respect and kindness.

4. This is a safe place to ask questions and say “I don’t know”.

Now, I now it’s not always cool to be a youth worker with rules. And repeating the same rules week after week is definitely not fun, but it is vital.

Reiterating ground rules every time you gather stresses their importance. It reminds people they’re welcome and shows people they matter to your community.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. When not doing ministry, she and her husband Doug can be found hiking, backpacking, and traveling.

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