It happened again last night. I’m so happy when it does because it gives me more respect for parents. A student I was taking home after small group told me that his mom had looked me up online and has gained a lot of trust and respect for me.
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating (especially after last night). It’s very important that we, as youth leaders, are putting ourselves out there in a way parents can check up on us.
Here’s how I make myself discoverable:
– Writing VolunteerYouthMinistry.com posts to help other youth workers, but it also allows parents to read up on my views and techniques of doing youth ministry
– Keeping my Facebook profile updated frequently and open for all to see (regardless of whether we’re friends on Facebook), allows parents to peek in on me without my knowledge
– Tweeting also helps parents know what I’m up to and how I think from day to day. Not everything I send out on Twitter goes onto Facebook, but, again, like Facebook, I don’t have my tweets protected. I make sure everything I post is fully discoverable by anybody who wants to find out what I’m really like
– Building relationships within the youth ministry with students and leaders outside my small group allows parents to check up on me by asking others for references
– Committing to longevity has also been a great asset. I’ve committed to this ministry for the long haul. I began serving in Saddleback Church’s Student Ministry in March of 1999. That speaks volumes to parents
Bottom line: Youth workers do their ministry and parents a huge service when they make themselves discoverable through as many avenues as possible