Monday, November 12, 2007

Ministry Stuff

I haven't said a whole lot about youth ministry stuff in a long time. It's going well. It's a fine balance with the HP and volunteer JH Ministry, but it's working out fine.

We are one of the few churches in our area that continually collects food for Second Harvest Food Bank. As part of Communion Sunday each month we also collect food for the food bank. Last night the Junior Highers did a canned food scavenger hunt. We did a combination of some Thanksgiving staples combined with what they needed most. I took the food in this morning and they collected $8 and 93 pounds of food in one hour! I am so proud of them.

The other thing going on isn't such good stuff. We have a registered sex offender in our church. He has been here a few weeks and I give him credit for being open about it to our SP, but I am very uncomfortable with it. That is my issue and I own it. I know he can't volunteer with either children or youth and that's fine. Then he went and made a mistake that is now casing a bit of an uproar and has be feeling...well....I haven't decided yet. Last week he was invited downstairs to eat with the high school group. He knows he cannot do it and did it anyway. A mistake, but life goes on. I have now come to learn that he was ALONE with the kids for a short period of time. This goes beyond a "simple" error. So, my SP is going to remind him of what he can and cannot do and let him know that if it happens again...he'd have to find a new church. I know that sounds awful...but he KNOWS he's not supposed to be with the kids...let alone be the ONLY adult with them in a room in the basement!

We background check our workers and the only ones that can do recruiting is myself and our SP so that is one layer of protection...but now it's deciding what else we can do and officially writing a policy manual. I have one for the Nursery and for Children's Ministry...I have never done a youth one because of Debra. Now that she is's time to set one up. It's fine...I have no problem with it...this whole thing just makes me a little uncomfortable.

I believe in forgiveness, I believe in second chances...but I have to admit this whole thing weird me out a bit. Again, it's because it hits close to home and a lot of stuff in ministry does and will in the future. This is just the first time in a long time. The "strange" thing's kind of cool having other adults come to me and wanting my opinion and want me to help shape policy.


The Thief said...

One of my former fellow youth volunteers (and close friend) is a registered sex offender.

This friend offended after we'd moved apart, but he'd had some red flags before he ever joined the youth ministry, and I believe I was there to be "two deep" in leadership with him. And he never offended while in our group.

But after he'd moved and was involved in a local school district, and he was left alone with students, that was when he offended.

I'm glad your church is tackling this head-on instead of waiting until there is a problem.

Dreaming again said...

Praying Deneice. For you, for your church.