Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions
Thank you again for being there for us youth workers. The Lord has blessed us with growth from the community. These kids are mostly unchurched and therefore are presenting to our Wed. night meeting with their significant others, which is exciting, but it appears that we are now faced with the issues of proper physical contact during the meeting. We have previously maintained the "no couples" rule during youth group, but those groups of kids are church members and seasoned Christians. During worship time, when the youth pastor is leading us in song, he has the lights down with accent/party lighting going. These new kids are doing what they know to do in their daily world. I am struggling with appearing to "police" the room during worship. I write all this to ask you for your opinion and your practice in dealing with the "touching, hand holding, arm around one another " during youth group and during worship while in the evangelism mode?
Thanks for the email.
Good question. First- I think your leader might want to reconsider the dimming the lights. (If it's a "seeing the projector" issue, then just dim the lights by the stage.) This might stimulate kids that this is the time to get cozy.
SHOULD YOU CONFRONT THEM?
Should you confront the kids when they get snuggly? Depends on how snuggly. When I ran a ministry that reached outreach kids I had that problem sometimes. If a couple just held hands or put their arms around each other- I didn't sweat it. Of course if they were having sex with their clothes on, I would say something.
HOW DO YOU CONFRONT THEM?
If the need arises to confront them- I try to do it in a light way. If it is a kid I know pretty well, I might tease them. "Gee wizz- stop that- it makes me miss my wife!" I just ask them lightly, as not to embarrass them by making them feel disciplined.
If that doesn't work- I talk to the guy alone- and tell him that it makes other kids feel awkward. It rarely goes further than that.
Hope that helps.