You may have heard we are introducing a Code of Conduct for our youth and children’s ministry.
Young people need, and like, clarity around things. Sure, they push against clear boundaries but that is why they need them. The older we get the less we like clear boundaries. We know there is so much grey in life and in ‘the real world’ and we are suspicious of certainty. We, sometimes rather smugly, ‘look to God’, rather than his desire that we simply obey what he says.
With Kieran and Barb, we are now in the best position for a long time to grow and teach our young people. This begins with growing leadership. They need a group of young leaders [who, frankly, know very little about life or God] and mature, experienced, older leaders pulling together around basic principles of leadership, life and faith.
One of the key things Samuel saw in David, that he didn’t see in Saul, was a teachable spirit. Saul saw Samuel’s [God’s] code of conduct as something to wriggle around, avoid or argue with. David saw it as a minimum standard to enjoy God’s presence and favour.
Our Code of Conduct contains 101 ‘no brainers’ for Christian leadership. They start with the clear teachings of Scripture that have been affirmed by the Church for millennia. But, most importantly they give our leaders a starting point in a world that is in upheaval socially and structurally.
I’ve used the map and the compass illustration before. When there is an earthquake and all the roads are washed away, maps are no use. We have to navigate by compass. Scripture and its principles have been the compass that has, until fairly recently, guided the Western mind. At St Phils, I am convinced it still should. I have no other. The Bible’s principles could once be assumed but no longer.
I hope you find our Code as helpful as I do. It is not a stick. It is a civics guide in a frantic world and it is absolutely essential to build Christian leadership in youth ministry. Barb has chatted the Code through with our valued youth and children’s leaders.
My daughter has joined a church in Canberra. As a young mum, one Sunday morning she offered to help where needed and had a piece of paper thrust into her hand. The ministry leader said, “Read this. If you’re comfortable to sign it then let’s chat.” Elle was a bit taken aback but she looked at the sheet and it was headed, Youth and Children’s Ministry Code of Conduct.
Please pray for Kieran and Barb in these vital formative days. Pray for emerging young leaders navigating a tricky world. Pray for older leaders who can be wearied by change after change. Pray for parents in their duty to give clear boundaries to their forever-connected children. Please pray for new beginnings, forming teams, pulling together to love, teach and grow emotionally healthy Christian faith in our next generation.