If we believe that youth and parents will understand our discipline or conduct expectations simply because we are a Christian organization, we have not spent much time with Christians.
A discipline covenant for your youth ministry will set the boundaries and expectations for behavior with parents and youth. Developing a Code of Conduct or Discipline Covenant is important to navigating disciplinary issues on trips and at youth group.
You can develop a thoughtful covenant with the help of your youth ministry team or other leaders. Here are areas you may want to address as you develop your covenant:
- Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco
- Weapons, lighters, pocket knives, fireworks
- Dress code
- Respect of property
- Respect of other students, staff, and adult leaders
- Presence in rooms of people of the opposite sex
- Public displays of affection
- Movie and music ratings
You do not have to start from scratch. Begin by finding a sample covenant that you like and adjust it for your ministry. Here is a good example:
Sample Youth Ministry Covenant
Your covenant should clearly explain the consequences to breaking the covenant. You want to clearly create the boundaries and expectations you have for the students and adults participating in your ministry. Both parents and students should sign the covenant acknowledging they understand the expectations.
Your covenant should be adopted by the appropriate bodies of your congregation and your pastor should be aware of the agreed upon expectations.
Discipline issues will arise and having a discipline covenant will help you navigate them because the covenant will make it clear when a teen has crossed the line.