Saturday, December 1, 2012

When the teen above .05 walks through the door?

It's a regulation Friday night at youth group...
Fun things are planned, but nothing out of the ordinary...
Kids are starting to arrive and you're getting prepared to swing into the first game/activity...

Then a couple of teens turn up who are obviously drunk.
They aren't falling over and vomiting drunk, but it is clear that they've had a bevy.
Whilst one of the teens is a regular, the other is relatively unknown to you.

What do you do?

Without doubt, every ministry job interview will contain a tricky scenario or three.

The above situation was one I was given during my latest interview (have a mentioned that I secured a new, full-time, job for 2013???).

A few days ago I had a chat about this conundrum with the work experience student accompanying me this week.

My answer?

Immediately, I'll want to send the kid home.
There is no way I'm going to expose the other kids to these "emotional" pair of teens.
As a duty-of-care issue (my responsibility to provide a safe place physically, emotionally, relationally & spiritually), it would be irresponsible to allow them to stay.
Whilst driving him and his drunken mate away with pitchforks might be extreme, the idea did wander through my mind.

But, I also have a duty-of-care to these two tanked-up young men.

So I decided that, although I would send them home, I had to do so in a manner which ensured their safety.

Once I'd called the kids parents, if geographically possible, I would have a male leader walk the two blokes back to a house where parents are present.

If they lived too far away then I would put them in a cab with a leader, again, making sure they arrived to a supervised environment.

But the next 48 would be equally as important.

For I would contact the teen I knew on the Sunday (it would be unfair to call him hung-over on Saturday) and seek to catch up that afternoon.

And I would ask what is going on.

For no kid, I suspect, awakes on a Friday morning and decides to have a skin-full and roll up to youth group. Something must have happened.

And the company he keeps would certainly be one of the topics I would discuss.

But I neglected to add another important part of the answer for this situation.


Whilst pretty embarrassing and fairly dumb (and I've had my share of both), what this teen has done is not unforgivable. During our Sunday conversation, I would impress this to the teen and welcoming him back the next week... Without the booze.

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