Youth Ministry Leadership Commitment

  • Purpose

    The purpose of these Guidelines is to promote integrity, safety, and clarity with respect to paid staff (“Staff”) and volunteers (“Leaders”) of Grace Church San Diego who are involved in any capacity in Grace Church San Diego’s Middle School or High School Ministry (collectively “Youth Ministry”). By initialing each section and signing below, you agree that you have read these guidelines and that you will abide by them for the duration of your involvement in any capacity with Youth Ministry at Grace Church San Diego.
  • Foundational Principle

    Our lives, not just our words, are our witness to the world of the hope we have in Christ. The lifestyles we choose to live serves as a representation of what we truly believe. Therefore, who we are at church and who we are elsewhere should not contradict each other. The goal of a Christ-follower is not perfection, rather, the goal is in following Christ we allow Him to shape our life. We don’t expect that you never make a mistake concerning the items below. Rather we expect that you are honest and teachable when you do make a mistake. We are a restoring church meaning we work with people who have made mistakes if they are willing to grow. Staff and team members alike will be teachable, submitting to God’s word as the final authority. We exist to create safe communities where imperfect people grow. By seeking to follow the commitments below we will help to establish these communities.

    Col. 3:23, 24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

    1 Cor. 8:9 – Be careful, however that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

    2 Cor. 6:3 – We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.

    1 Timothy 3:1 – if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. the overseer must be above reproach.

    *I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I want to live my life for Him.
  • Dress and Speech. Please be aware that how you dress and speak sets an example. It also sends a message to the people with whom you interact. Staff and Leaders recognize that if dress and speech becomes an issue it will lead to conversations with Staff or other Team Members.
  • Alcohol. Staff and Leaders will obey all laws concerning underage drinking and excessive alcohol consumption. Staff and Leaders who are 21 or older will not drink before or during Youth Ministry activities. Staff and leaders will exercise wisdom concerning situations where drinking may be a stumbling block to others.
  • Illegal Drugs. Staff and Leaders will not use, possess or sell illegal drugs at any time.
  • Illegal Drugs

    Staff and Team Members will not use, possess or sell illegal drugs at any time.
  • Tobacco Products. Staff and Leaders will obey all laws concerning tobacco use and will not use tobacco products before or during Youth Ministry activities
  • Sexual Misconduct. Staff and Leaders will conform to the highest standards of sexual morality and conduct. In their work with Youth Ministry and in their private lives, Staff and Leaders will not engage in sexual misconduct, including but not limited to (1) sexual intercourse with any person outside of marriage or actively pursuing homosexual relationships (2) sexual relations or activities which constitute sexual offenses as defined by law, or (3) any other sexual relations or activities that are contrary to the theological and moral affirmations of Grace Church San Diego including viewing pornography and online sexual relationships outside of marriage. Staff and Leaders will not use touch that is of a sexual nature or is otherwise inappropriate with a student, including but not limited to touching the following areas: chest, genital areas, upper legs and buttocks. Staff and Leaders should avoid one-on-one meetings with students of the opposite sex, unless such meetings are conducted in public, well-lit, well-populated places and under the knowing approval of Director leadership. For instance, Staff and Leaders will avoid one-on-one interactions with students of the opposite sex in a car, a child’s bedroom, home, on the phone or prolonged internet contact. Staff and Leaders recognize that by avoiding one-on-one meetings with students of the opposite sex , Staff and Leaders reduce their exposure to the possibility of such false claims by students and perception of wrong-doing. In one-on-one interactions with students of the opposite sex, Staff and Leaders will not engage in “frontal-hugging”, kissing, tickling or lap-sitting
  • Internet Conduct. Staff and leaders will make sure that any and all internet venues (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, etc) reflect living according to the calling that Christ has on a Christian’s life. Any references to underage drinking (or inappropriate drinking of age – ie. drunkenness), inappropriate lifestyle choices, or anything stated above is not appropriate to post online. This includes all comments, pictures and posts that are placed online by staff and leaders. Staff and leaders are meant to be an example, and students are always observing.
  • Social Media Usage As ministry leaders, we believe our influence is best used by modeling and communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We understand that oftentimes when we communicate our personal opinions, they can divide the body of Christ and limit those far from Jesus from seeing him in us. Your personal social media accounts represent the leadership of our church, therefore we ask you not post about politics or controversial social issues on your accounts. We know and agree that a lot of issues are moral and go against the sacredness of God's creation, but we ask that you speak to your leader before posting. There may be times your leader may ask you to remove or change a post in this regard.
  • If a member of Staff is involved in a dating relationship with a Leader, or a Leader dating another Leader the supervisor of the ministry or the head of the ministry department must be notified or consulted. Leaders may date other Leaders provided that the dating relationship does not interfere with the performance of ministry and is not a part of the ministry area’s activities. Staff and Leaders are strictly prohibited from dating any middle school or high school students.
  • Staff and Leaders will use discernment, wisdom and sensitivity when students address private or personal matters with them. Staff and Leaders must never promise to keep information a secret, no matter how important it feels.
  • Abuse. Staff and Leaders must immediately report knowledge or suspicion of any of the following to the Director: life-threatening behavior or physically or sexually abusive behavior. Self-harm behaviors (i.e., cutting, burning, etc.) should also be reported to the Director. If self-harm is identified, the student should be asked about suicidal thoughts or intentions. If suicidal thoughts are confirmed by a student (whether or not they are accompanied by self-harm behaviors), the Director should be notified immediately. If the student has a specific suicide plan in mind, the Director is obligated by law to call the student’s parents and any other proper authority. In all other cases, the Director will advise the student to obtain help as soon as possible and will discuss with the student the importance of informing his/her parents unless, in the Director’s opinion, informing the parents would put the student in a more harmful situation (ie. Parents are physically harming the child). Other behaviors, such as drug or alcohol use or consensual sexual activity which does not violate statutory law, do not constitute behaviors that must be reported to the authorities. However, parents will often perceive these situations as life-threatening and would want to be notified of such behaviors. In such cases, Staff and Leaders will report such behaviors to the Director and will encourage students to be honest with their parents about the choices they are making. In all situations that do not require reporting to local authorities, the Director will determine what action, including whether to notify the student’s parents, should be taken.
  • Getting Help. If a Staff member or Leader is unsure as to the seriousness of a situation or feels unqualified to handle or respond to a situation, the Staff or Leader should immediately refer the matter to the Director. The Director, with the Staff or Leader’s input, will determine when the involvement of the student’s parents, professional counselors or third parties is recommended. When in doubt about a situation, Staff and Leaders are encouraged to consult with the Director and/or the Life Development Pastor.
  • Personal Discretion. Staff and Leaders will use extreme discretion & discernment, wisdom, and sensitivity when sharing their own past personal experiences involving (but not limited) to prior drug use, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, illegal behavior, or other painful experiences. Staff and Leaders will avoid sharing with students life-threatening physically or sexually abusive behavior, abortion, or suicide attempts. Staff and Leaders will consider the purpose and necessity of such sharing.
  • Respect. Staff and Leaders are expected to support and work together with families of students. Staff and Leaders should avoid criticizing, ridiculing or showing disrespect for a student’s siblings, parents, home situation, or rules.
  • Staff and Leaders must follow these guidelines when transporting students: (1) Must have current and appropriate license for vehicle driven. (2) Must observe speed limit and traffic and safety (i.e., seat belt) laws. (3) Staff and Leaders must report speeding tickets and moving violations that occur while students are in the vehicle to the Director. The Director has full authority to restrict any Staff or Leader who, in the Director’s opinion, is an unsafe driver. (4) Staff and Leaders must have current automobile insurance covering bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, physical damage, and uninsured motorists in amounts and coverages satisfactory to Grace San Diego. (5) Leaders should report to staff all plans to transport kids in their vehicles so Staff is aware. (6) Leaders and staff should NEVER transport a child of the opposite sex without another person in the car.
  • Small group and other organized activities should reflect good taste, concern for safety and should not contradict Biblical principles. For instance, certain movies, games, music, etc. may be inappropriate for certain age groups, families, or situations. Staff and Leaders will use common sense and concern for safety when planning and implementing activities with students. A Staff member or a Leader must be present for the duration of any Youth Ministry sponsored activity. This includes arriving on time and closing up (i.e., making sure everyone has a ride home and locking up the church or other facility). Because dangerous activities (i.e., rock climbing, inner-tubing, whitewater rafting) may require additional insurance coverage, Staff and Leaders must obtain the Director’s approval before participating in such activities. Any serious injury must be reported to the Director immediately. Staff and Leaders will respect and be good stewards of Grace San Diego facilities and other facilities where Youth Ministry activities take place and will encourage students to do the same.
  • I have read, understood and agree to these Guidelines. I understand that violating these commitments can result suspension or termination, as determined by the Director.