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That's really lovely, Ron. When I was commissioned, I was especially blessed by my pastor imploring the church to pray for me, and the invitation for my family and office bearers to lay hands on me during the closing prayer. 

I could possibly help with this. I absolutely believe Safe Church policies need to make room for mentorship relationships. Here's what our policy says:

1.     There is an obvious need to build a trusting relationship with the youth. However, taking the youth aside for a quiet one-on-one talk could set them up abuse.  Therefore, to protect the adult and the youth, one-on-one situations are discouraged.  If a chat is necessary, let another adult know where you are, with whom, and for how long.  If necessary, meet in a public place, e.g., a coffee shop. Before any such meeting is to take place with a youth, the youth group leader shall inform the youth ministry coordinator of when and where such a meeting will take place, and once the meeting has concluded.


2. Mentorships, one-on-one long-term relationships, are an important factor in youth development. However, they also are difficult to monitor and can open both parties up to potential abuse or allegations of abuse.  Mentors are strongly encouraged to hold their sessions in public places, or in open spaces in homes and not be alone behind closed doors.

For context, the youth ministry coordinator is a paid staff position.

Hi Melissa. That’s exciting. It’s super important for churches to invest in their youth. Without a doubt, I would recommend “Sticky Faith”, the youth workers edition, and then “Growing Young”. Both come out of the Fuller Youth Institute and are highly regarded in youth ministries across countries and denominations.

Last summer, I led a study on Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage", and used two electronic study guides for questions, along with questions and summaries from a small support group from my congregation. Oh man, it was SO worthwhile and the group LOVED it. I passed out extra copies of the book to young adults who couldn't make it, for attendees partners and friends, and so on, at the request and referral of the attendees. While most weren't married, I used the second part of the title to draw people in: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. I'd highly recommend it.


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