Since I’m not a youth pastor anymore, I’ve been “downloading” my habits, rituals and best practices and mentally shifting gears. Summer certainly reminds me of a lot of great memories in youth ministry, as well as some of the more stressful moments. – aL
It’s summertime, which means youth groups across the country are hitting the water. Every time the church bus pulls out of the parking lot, there’s always at least one person upset with the dress code for the girls.
One of the biggest problems dude youth pastors face is trying to tell these teenage ladies how to dress on the beach. Here are a few common scenarios:
“Beach = Monastery” Guy
This guy creates rules, enforces rules and likes it. He is solely responsible for the most well-covered, modest-looking youth group on the coast. The group leaders probably didn’t need to pack sunscreen because there is no skin showing here. There will also be no hanky-panky.
Arch-enemy: the high school girl who thinks she needs deserves a little sun…to feel good impress the boys.
“Anything Goes” Guy
Rules? This guy doesn’t believe in them. As few rules as possible make for the best memories. Police and property managers should keep an eye out for misfits lying in the shadows, because hey, there’s no rule against that.
Arch-enemy: the mom who remembers everything she wasn’t allowed to wear on youth group beach trips growing up.
The “Ladies Call” Guy
This guy leaves the girls rules to the ladies and takes care of the guys. No “purple” here.
Arch-enemy: this guy doesn’t know, because somebody else is taking care of it.
Guys, consider this:
- young ladies today need adult males who respect them more than their peers. Delegating these “rules” to responsible female adults in your group sends the message that modesty is important and you respect these girls, and the influence of your female leaders.
- don’t go there. You don’t need to be making bathing suit rules any more than you need to be taking girls home after youth group in your car. How do you spell trouble?
- young guys need to hear you talk about respect, too. The world around them isn’t teaching them any differently, and you will be doing a great service to the ladies these guys date and marry down the road.
A big shout out to Suze. She was my go-to female leader for most of my last few years in youth ministry. She did a great job being fair, appropriate and leaving me out of it. And she always took care of the “purple pouch” (don’t ask).
I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.