Safe Community

I am going to jump back into blogging for a bit to talk about some of the things that are happening in our youth group. Some quick facts:

  • Our “core” group is about 10 students
  • We are down to this number because of the changing demographics of our church (there are more families with young kids than with teenagers.
  • We have a few more kids who should be part of that core, but their parents aren’t very faithful either, so that causes some issues getting the kids to church.
  • We have our typical Wednesday night and Sunday night Bible study times. Wednesdays is when we have the band traditionally Sunday nights were for deeper Bible study.
  • This past semester (after school started until December) we started having a larger number of kids come as part of our bus ministry.
  • Some of these students integrated well, and are a vital part of what we do.
  • There are others who cause some problems, but who genuinely want to be there and we work hard to help those students succeed.
  • Then there are about 4 or 5 students who are rude, disruptive, and borderline abusive to the other students. They are a continual distraction and quite frankly many students are afraid of them.

So the question that I am trying to figure out is 1) where is the line before I asked these students not to come back and 2) how can you create authentic community when your students don’t even feel safe around each other.

I have this vision of a youth group that is a force for change in their community and their world. Instead we end up too often with the same little cliques and segregated lives that exist everywhere. I have tried to do a few things to help them to bump in to each other and work together, but right now none of them are super successful.

So I am on a journey with God to try and figure out how to help our group have a safe authentic community.

I will keep you posted on how things work out.

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