Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer in student ministry. We appreciate your willingness to take the time to fill out the application and attend one of our orientations. There are a few things we want to make sure we say up front as you begin the orientation process.
By stepping into a leadership role in a student ministry environment, you are stepping into a position of authority. Our teenagers will watch you closely and take what you say seriously. And we think that is a good thing. Leaders should be role models. The challenge is that being a role model is all-encompassing.
As a role model, your lifestyle is part of the equation. What you present in your group setting should be consistent with who you are in your various roles the remainder of the week.
In the past, that was all that needed to be said. There was consensus around what constituted consistency between ministry behavior and life in general. As culture has changed, however, there is a need to be more specific. The three issues that surface the most have to do with sexual relationships, substance abuse, and social media.
The last thing we want to do is put you in a position where you feel pressure to teach, represent, or appear to give assent to a view on one of these subjects that you do not personally embrace. So on these three subjects, here is what we expect volunteers to communicate and model:
Regarding Sexual Behavior
We teach that sex was created by God as an expression of intimacy between a man and woman within the context of marriage. Volunteers who embrace lifestyles or behaviors that conflict with this teaching will eventually find themselves having to pretend to be something they are not or believe something they don’t. In an effort to protect you from a potentially awkward situation, we ask the following:
If you are involved in a sexual relationship and are not married, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time.
If you are pursuing a same sex relationship, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time.
In the spirit of being a good role model, if you are single and living with a member of the opposite sex, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time. We do not want to put you in the awkward position of having to explain your arrangement if members of the group visit your home.
If you are married and are currently involved in a sexual relationship outside of your marriage, we ask that you not volunteer at this time.
Regarding Substance Abuse
If you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, this might be something God uses in a positive way to steer a future generation in a different direction. If you feel that this is part of your message, and perhaps part of your motivation for wanting to get involved in student ministry, we would love to talk with you further. While we might disagree on the timing of your involvement, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to partner with what God is up to in your life.
If you have been arrested for or convicted of an alcohol-or drug-related offense in the past 12 months, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time.
If you are currently being treated for alcohol or drug abuse, we ask that you not volunteer at this time.
If you have used marijuana or any other illegal substance during the past 12 months, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time.
If consuming alcohol to the point of being unable to drive or to the point of it being illegal for you to drive is a regular part of your weekend or weeknight routine, we ask that you not volunteer in student ministry at this time.
Regarding Social Media
The students in your group will visit your Facebook page. So could their parents. If you blog or maintain a Twitter or Instagram account, some in your group will opt to keep up with you through those mediums as well. While social media can be a great connection tool, it also serves as a window into your life beyond your student ministry group. In light of that, we ask that you leverage social media with your group members in mind. We realize this is a judgment call.
If you have any questions regarding your specific situation and the requirements outlined in this document, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
PLEASE ANSWER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: