One of the perks of being in youth ministry is what we do is lots of fun (most of the time). Concerts, trips, movies, games, food, camps, all of this is fun stuff.
I have noticed over the years that there are times you announce we are going to ______________. (you fill in the blank with some great event) Then all of the sudden you have adults volunteering to go because “It’s fun!”. Example, if I planned a trip to work on my friend’s camp in the Bahamas I would get immediate response from adults who want to “chaperone”.
No chaperones allowed, at Contagious Youth we don’t have chaperones. You know that teacher at the eighth grade dance that were the incredibly tacky tie and the wrinkled shirt that lurks on the outskirts of the dance crowd? Yea, we don’t have those on trips. We have the “cool” teachers that the students love, you know the ones who get out in the middle of the dance floor and do their best “roger rabbit”.
There is a big difference between a chaperone and a minister. When we go to camp this summer we build our team with youth ministers and not with chaperones. Chaperones stand by and observe. Youth ministers roll their sleeves up and dive into the middle of it. We want adults who are not only willing but also equipped to minister to the students while at camp.
Some people make great chaperones but not all chaperones are ready to be a youth ministers. There are times and situations where an extra set of eyes are nice to have along on a trip but I think it would be better to have those eyes attached to a person who knows how to communicate and relate with students.
While our youth ministry team or camp team is composed of believers with many different talents and gifts that they can use on the team their main role is to minister to students. If I’m going to have a person drive a van full of students it makes sense to me the person can minister to the kid sitting behind her who is struggling with parents going through divorce than just a church member who has a good driving record.
For More Chaperone Thoughts click HERE