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.