Let’s face it, youth ministries typically attract the most fun, most talented, best volunteers in the church—sorry, Kids Min (mostly kidding). So when you have all these young, talented, energetic type people, they are bound to find someone in that group that they find attractive and perhaps pursue a dating relationship.
As a leader I am very for this; leaders dating leaders is a great scenario, and when they do, they will hear from me three expectations (requests) for any couple on our youth volunteer team.
1. Model a healthy relationship: From boundaries, to communication, to conflict, we ask that our leaders live out a healthy relationship for students to see. In other words, a how-to of dating being lived out in living color in front of the eyes of their students.
2. Students are still #1: Just because you and Bae (unwritten rule: don’t call your s/o Bae) haven’t seen each other all week, youth group is not your catch up, cuddle, deep-eye gazing time. Youth night is focused on youth; you can chat, connect, but your students should not get short changed because of your relationship. Make sure that on youth night, you are in leader mode. You and Bae can talk later.
3. Break up well: Fact—not all of these relationships last forever, so if you do end up breaking up, we ask that you do it well, do it respectfully and don’t quit serving because of it. If a mature Christian couple who were in a healthy, God-honoring relationship can’t break up and be in the same room, they probably should not have dated in the first place. Date well and break up well if necessary. Students need to see relationships that start and end healthy—the full spectrum.
I know we can’t demand any of this of our leaders, but when we chat about it, they always seem to get it and understand the impact in the lives of the guys and girls they mentor. They know that if they have and live out a healthy, honorable relationship, it will give traction to their words when they have those tough boundaries talks that are inevitable working with students.