COVID-19 and Safe Ministry
Going online with your youth ministry during COVID-19
Video Conferencing Guidelines:
Principles when using video conferencing
Guidelines: Managing security when using Zoom
For doing ministry safely during the pandemic
Information and resources for doing ministry safely during COVID-19
With the rapidly changing environment we find ourselves due to COVID-19, we are aware that many ministries are moving their meetings online during these exceptional circumstances.
We are fortunate to have the technology that gives us the option to meet virtually and thereby continue many aspects of our ministries.
But with that technology comes risks and hazards – especially in the context of children’s and youth ministries.
So we urge our churches to take the time to think and work though the implications of doing ministry online with their children (in this context, aged 8-12 years) and young people (13-17 years old).
See the list on this page for resources to assist with this.
Any specific questions on any of the matters presented here can be addressed to the Parish Consultant.
A collection of slightly random questions we have been asked related to doing ministry safely during the pandemic.
UPDATED: April 1st 4:00pm
The Blueprint documents outline helpful guidelines for communication with youth (se pp10-11 of the SM Blueprint for Head of Youth Ministry). While this section focuses on electronic communication, the principles of being above reproach and being transparent are transferable to any form of communication.
We would suggest the following:
- Clarify with the youth leaders that comments in the cards should be brief and the types of things to say (e.g. let the youth members know you are praying for them, share an encouraging Bible verse, details of the church/youth group contact info if they need to talk).
- Outline to the youth leaders things that are not appropriate to put in the cards e.g. comments of a personal or intimate nature, their personal contact details. Youth leaders should be aware that the head ministry leader may read the content of any card to ensure that the guidelines are being adhered to.
- Youth leaders should only write cards to youth members of the same gender.
- The head ministry leader should inform the parents that the youth ministry will be using this type of communication, its purpose (i.e. to encourage the youth) and when/how often it will be used e.g. once a month.
- The church should do the mail out. This is to prevent individual leaders having access to addresses of youth members (for privacy reasons) and enables the church to manage how often this type of contact is made (leaders could build inappropriate or secret relationships through frequent contact if they have youth members private contact details).