student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

The Pain of Favoritism

By Doug Franklin October 31, 2011

We have many great opportunities as youth workers. We get to speak truth and encouragement into the lives of our students. We also get to lead them and help them know the love of Christ but we also have to be careful because we can easily hurt them. When we like to hang-out and talk with one group of students more than others we can really hurt students. Favoritism is painful because it makes you feel rejected by a person you trust and what to be liked by. Even worse some youth leaders use favoritism to control students and to play with their emotions. This is dangerous business. I know too many people who don’t like church because their youth worker didn’t like them. To make sure we are not showing favoritism we must consistently be asking people around us if they see any hint of it. We must make every effort to reach out to students who don’t get tons of attention. Try this idea; make a board with a list of students’ names on it. Put all of the names on the right side of the board moving down. Across the top of the board put the names of all the adults working with the students. Ask the adults, including yourself, to place a star down from their name across from the students name that they have a relationship with.  When your adults are done you should see what students in your ministry are not in a relationship with an adult. You need to go and develop a relationship with those students. By making sure every student is known by an adult you will insure that favoritism is not practiced in your ministry. 

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