Definition of Terms
Adult- An adult is a member of the Church Youth Leadership Team. This person is at least 5 years older than the oldest youth member of the church group.
Church Youth Leadership Team: The Church Youth Leadership is the group of adults responsible for the local church group attending an event.
District Youth Coordinator- is a member of the District Youth Leadership Team. The District Youth Coordinator develops and organizes fellowship and training opportunities at the district level.
Host Mission Family- The refers to the mission site(home) that the youth group is serving. It may also mean the home where the youth group is given the opportunity to shower and freshen up prior to a meal during a local retreat such as Hands and Feet Mission Retreat.
Ministry Leader- Can be interchangeable with youth coordinator/director or Pastor. This person is the lead contact for the group attending the ministry event.
Mission Event- A mission event is an event such as but not limited to Hands and Feet Mission Retreat.
Reasonable Adult/Youth Ratios- 2:16 at retreats/rallies/meetings; 2:8 at offsite camps and mission trips.
Staff/Volunteers- A staff/volunteer for an event is a person who is selected to assist with the event and is not connected to a church attending the event. This may include overnight security on camp facilities or in hotel settings.
Youth Coordinator/Director- The youth coordinator/director for the purposes of this document is considered the lead youth minister from the local church.
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure the safety and reduce the risk of harm for all persons participating in Conference and District Young People’s Ministry events.
- Two Adult Rule: During all conference events one adult will not be alone with any number of youth. For small group activities where one adult supervises one group, two or more groups are to meet in sight and sound of each The ministry leader may also decide to combine groups to ensure the safety of all parties. Small Group sizes will be determined by the size of the group, but should not exceed reasonable adult/youth ratios.
- Five Year Older Rule:. Persons supervising youth will be at least 5 years older than the oldest youth participant. It is expected that all Event Staff/Volunteers be at least 21 years of age or older and have completed a background check, interview with the Director of Next Gen Discipleship.
- Adult/Youth Ratio: The adult/youth ratio will be at least 2:16 at retreats/rallies/meetings with the understanding that one adult will not be alone with any number of youth(refer to Procedure 1). The ratio for offsite camps and mission trips will be 2:8. Some events may require smaller ratios. If so stricter requirements will be communicated to all adults and churches prior to the event through registration confirmation packets as well as through email communication.
- Male/Female Adults: When a group from any local church consists of both genders, the accompanying adults shall also be of both genders. This also applies to small groups and mission worksite.
- Background Checks: All adults at conference youth events will be expected to have a background check, training on the local church’s Safe Sanctuary Policy and Procedures*, as well as a review of these procedures. Each church will sign a verification form listing each adult attending the event signed by the youth coordinator/director and The verification form will serve as a confirmation that each adult has completed the requirements for participation. (If your church does not have policy or background checks are needed contact Jullie Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-327-1533.
- Medical Release/Registration Form: All youth and adults attending Next Gen Discipleship Ministry events shall have a completed medical release form and completed parental permission form. The medical release form will be valid for a 1 year period beginning with the first event for which it is submitted to their group leader. It is expected that a new form will be submitted if a change in medical status occurs. The forms will be presented but not collected at the registratio check-in process for each event.
- Youth Leader Responsibility: It is expected that the youth coordinator/director from the local church maintain a copy of each attendee’s form at all times. These forms should be carried with the group traveling to and from
- Check-In Procedure: The Church Youth Leadership Team should develop a consistent check-in procedure during the event to meet with the church These should be spread throughout the event and event day.
- Lodging for overnight events: An adult and youth will not share a room/hotel/tent unless the adult is a parent of that youth with whom they are sharing the room/hotel/tent.
- Lodging for overnight events: There will be separate sleeping areas/rooms for males and females at all conference sponsored When there are several rooms/cabins of youth, there will be at least two non-related adults of the same gender in the room/cabin.
- Showers: In the event of open showers, separate shower times for youth and for adults shall be designated to prevent youth and adults showering If this is not possible, swimsuits will be required.
- District Youth Ministry: District Youth Coordinators and adults serving on the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) and the District Council on Youth Ministries(DCYM) shall be at least 23 years of age.
- Two Adults at Mission Sites: There will be two adults at each work site at all times on mission project sites. (Procedure 7 applies.)
- Mission Site Responsibility: No youth will be alone with an adult from a host mission family during a mission event. This includes host pastors, congregation members, homeowners, clients of mission agencies, etc. Likewise, an adult mission team member will not be alone with a youth from the host mission.
- Ongoing Social Media Communication: It is strongly advised that Youth Ministers discuss proper Social Media use with students prior to and after ministry events. Students should not have ongoing communication with event staff, speakers, or artists without the knowledge and consent of the parent.
FOR MORE RESOURCES ON KEEPING MINISTRY SAFE VISIT: https://www.tnumc.org/safe-spaces-ministry/