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student ministry, youth ministry, avoid conflict

Who to Avoid in Youth Ministry

By Doug Franklin October 24, 2013

One skill you need in youth ministry is avoidance. There are so many people you have to deal with in ministry who are different from you it’s best to think of ways to avoid them.

While I love students, I don’t really feel comfortable around parents so I avoid them. Sure I’m open to the yearly parent meeting designed around the calendar but other than that I really don’t want to engage them. I expect them to bring their kids to all activities but I would prefer them to drop them off and support me from a distance.

The janitor seems like a nice guy but it’s best to engage him only on days before youth group. The day after it’s best to avoid him. He has asked us to “go easy on the chairs” but asking students to cool it isn’t my thing so avoidance is the key.

The budget director, sometimes called the business manager, is also a good person to avoid. They go on and on about receipts and staying in budget but I would rather act now and ask for forgiveness later. It’s a strategy I have used tons of times.

I find it’s best to avoid my small group leaders until late Saturday night. Sure they don’t have the material in time to prepare for Sunday morning but I have to drive around late at night and give up some of my sleep time to get them the materials so it all evens out.

I also find it convenient to avoid the kid at youth group who drives me nuts with all the questions. His personality just doesn’t connect with me. I usually work on stuff while talking to him, which is second level avoidance, so he has no idea I don’t care.

Guess what? Every time you avoid someone or some problem in ministry you are distorting your influence and impact.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More