The Source for Youth Ministry
Subscribe

Answers for Tough
Questions

Got a tough question? You’re not alone! Chances are good that our team might be going through some of the same issues. Scroll through the topics below and click on the link that best describes your need.

If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, then
CLICK HERE TO ASK THE SOURCE any question.



TheSource4YM.com’s most recent featured answer:

QUESTION:

About a year ago we started doing dances for middle school students which I disc jockey at our local youth center. (You spoke at our facility in Waupun.) I have read the lyrics of hundreds of songs to try my best to have appropriate music (both secular and Christian). These dances have been a huge success not only with outreaching to students (200-250 each month), but a local church has gotten behind this ministry by volunteering 15-25 volunteers monthly. However, there are a couple of problems I have had with two of the youth center board members. The first complaint is that the music is too loud, and the second is the way some of the girls dress. The kids loved dancing right in front of the speakers so to help the first issue I pulled the speakers back three feet from the edge of the stage and turned the music down a little but not much (we have the dances in a full sized gym). This still has not been satisfactory for one board member and the other one simply doesn't help at them anymore.

The second problem is what I struggle with more. The girls love to wear the spaghetti strap shirts and some wear the half t-shirts. My opinion is that this is an outreach event, which is to get the kids in our facility and a way to promote our programs and local church events. I want to accept kids for who they are and don't feel this is a battle worth fighting.

I do understand there is a difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior but I don't personally feel this crosses the line. I talked to a couple in their late 50's who volunteer regularly and asked them their opinion. They said the music was something that they have just gotten used to and it's not about them, but they want the kids to have fun. With the dress they said that their great niece was at the dance and wearing something that they didn't approve of, however they were happy to see that she was there, and she talks about how our dances are the ones that most of the kids come too and enjoy. So there is my dilemma in a big nutshell. What's your opinion?

Scott, Wisconsin

--- Read the full question and answer ---


ANSWER:

Scott,

Yeah... that's a tough one. And I won't pretend to have all the answers. This is an issue that many youth workers struggle with when doing outreach.

First... the volume. I'm with you... I don't think it's a big deal. Personally, I think most music kids listen to is too loud. But they still listen to it that loud. So I'll wear earplugs and let them ruin their ears. (Side note: your idea of moving the speakers back was great... and just make sure you're not "louder" than what's typical of dj’s at school dances, etc. You definitely don't want to be 'louder!')

Your second issue is a tough one. It reminds me of the issue of swimsuits on outreach beach trips. What should you allow on the beach? Thongs? No. But bikini's??? I find that very often with these issues, it's not so much the rule you adapt, but how it is enforced.

Jump on our web page www.TheSource4YM.com, go to the top and click on the ARTICLES & HOW TO’S drop-down menu, then click ASK THE SOURCE. You'll see a bunch of Q and A’s on that page. Scroll way down until you see the question titled Indecent Swimsuits. That article touches a little about the methodology of enforcing whatever it is you allow.

This issue is definitely a touchy one. Here are a couple thoughts:

  1. Pray. I'm not just saying that. Really sit down and ask God what He thinks. Pray about it regularly for a week and then just spend some time listening to Him. Sometimes I think I've made up my mind on something and then I realize that I forgot to ask God about it. Once I sit down and do it. I realize, "What was I thinking?" Give it some prayer with an open mind.

  • Look at risk vs. reward. That might sound abrasive since we're talking about kids’ lives. Really check out if you're doing more damage (risk) than good (reward). Evaluate how effective these dances are at bringing kids in; and not only bringing them in, but THEN being able to reach them for Christ. If you follow it and realize you're not getting much opportunity to help the kids, or you're not providing a safe place (you know all the benefits), then make a switch. Take an honest look at what you're doing. Are you providing more of a positive place for kids that would be doing this anyway? Or (I'm not saying this is true; I'm just throwing this out there), is it possible that some kids who wouldn't have normally gone to dances or been exposed to the "pick up" scene, now are exposed to it?

  • Personally, I hate dances. I think they force kids to worry about themselves and strive for people to "Look at me! Look at me!!!" (It's so the opposite of II Cor 4:5-7.) The only way I would do one is if I was providing a safe place for kids that were going to dances already.
    --- Read the full question and answer ---


    Click the following subjects to see what The Source had to say!

    Back to TopABUSE:
          How do I handle suspected abuse of an 18 year old student in our youth group?

    Back to TopAvoiding Burnout:
          How do I avoid burnout and still be effective to my high school students?

    Back to TopCAMPUS MINISTRY:
          How do I get on-campus to do ministry?

          Pizza Outreach...just feed 'em?

    Back to TopCOLLEGE MINISTRY:
          How do I start a college ministry?

    Back to TopCURRICULUM:
          Looking For Good Theology Teaching Resources

          How do I kick off a discussion on "Truth?"

    Back to TopDISCIPLINE:
          The 12 year old drug dealer

          How do I deal with arrogant student leaders?

    Back to TopEVANGELISM:
          They run when they see you coming with the Bible!

    Back to TopEVENTS:
          Should our church sponsor a prom or a dance?

          I don't see events! Where are they?!!

          Dress Code for Unchurched Kids at A Dance?

    Back to TopEXITING A MINISTRY:
          How do we tell them we're leaving?

    Back to TopFAMILY AND MINISTRY:
          Does my wife have to be hands on in my ministry?

    Back to TopFUNDRAISING:
          I'm looking for fundraising ideas that have a "purpose."

    Back to TopGAMES:
          Tough kids are destroying my games

          Do you have any biblical games?

          Do you have any games for 'small' youth groups?

          What can I do on an 8 - 10 hour bus ride?

    Back to TopGROWING YOUR YOUTH GROUP:
          How do I lead one teenager in our youth group until we bring in more?

    Back to TopHOMESCHOOL:
          Can you share insight on how to deal with homeschooled students in your youth ministry?

    Back to TopMANAGING ADULT LEADERS:
          Forget the kids, what do I do with my stupid leaders?

          How do I use chaperones on a trip?

          Should I PUSH my flakey staff?

          My Staff Won't Play With Kids!

          Fatal Attraction Staff

          Any resources for interview/screening volunteers?

          Staff Guy Wants To Be A Ladies' Man

          How can we involve the men's fellowship group in our church with our youth?

    Back to TopMATURITY:
          kid too scared/homesick to stay overnight anywhere

    Back to TopMEETING SPACE:
          Does the design of our room matter?

    Back to TopMONEY FOR MINISTRY:
          I don't have any money for a staff retreat!

          Fundraising Idea for Lazy Kids

    Back to TopMOVIES:
          Bad Movies At Church...At Home...

    Back to TopPARENTS:
          Whiny Parent Meeting

          Mad Parents Don't Like My Dating Advice

          Parents Won't Let Them Go To Church

          So do you tell the "mooner's" parents or what?

    Back to TopPLANNING:
          Is it possible to plan the youth calendar a year in advance and does it need to aline with the Sr. Pastor's topics as well?

    Back to TopPOLICIES:
          Parents Mad About A "Breach of Confidentiality"

          How do I confront a sexually active kid?

          Do I let kids smoke at my program?

          I need advice about our church's new abuse policies for our ministries.

    Back to TopPRAYER:
          How do you get kids to pray?

    Back to TopPREACHING:
          I'm new to this preaching thang!

    Back to TopPROGRAMMING:
          How can I plan a school club?

          How do I lead a large group?

          We have the opportunity to lead big church!

          Are games and fun activities appropriate teaching tools?

          How do we meet the needs of both outreach kids and growth kids for our weekly youthgroup meetings?

    Back to TopRESOURCES:
          Where do I find good clipart?

          Where is a good place to get Bibles for students?

          Where can I get a creative "New Person Form?"

    Back to TopRULES:
          Indecent swimsuits

          Dress Code for Unchurched Kids at A Dance?

    Back to TopSPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS:
          Help with disciplining a special needs student.

    Back to TopSTUDENT LEADERSHIP:
          What if my student leaders don't keep their commitments?

          How do I deal with arrogant student leaders?

    Back to TopTEENAGE BEHAVIOR:
          The Kid Who Used To Be Nice

          Moon Over Louisiana!

          Kids Want To Snuggle During Worship

          Help me not kill this kid!

          My Kids Ignore New Kids

          Kids Won't Shut Their Big Yappers!

          Do you have any insight on teen "cutting" from a youth culture perspective?

          What do you know about suicide?

          Girls Crushing on Male Youth Leaders

          Gossipy Girls... How to do I tame the trash talking?

          How do I help this hurting student who won't open up?

    Back to TopTRAGEDY:
          Did I really do all I could for this kid?

    Back to TopTWEENS:
          What do I do with 5th and 6th graders?

    Back to TopWOMEN IN MINISTRY:
          Is it okay for females to be youth workers?

    Back to TopYOUTH CULTURE:
          Should I be bummed about Harry Potter?

          To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo?

    Back to TopYOUTH PASTOR CONDUCT:
          Can a pastor date one of his leaders?

          Does the word "students" annoy you?

    Back to TopYOUTH PASTOR NETWORKS:
          I'm A Youth Worker Who's Not Being Fed At My Own Church










    GET THE BRAND NEW BOOK THAT PEOPLE ARE CALLING "JONATHAN'S BEST EVER WRITTEN"




    connect
    click here for more


    © 1999-2017 The Source for Youth Ministries           Site Disclaimer