What Would You Do?
Friday, October 19th, 2018
You work in the office part-time at your church in the evenings and often there are youth events happening after regular hours. Your work area is in a position to see the assistant youth pastor’s office. Sometimes, he is with young people alone. On more than one occasion, you’ve seen him “counseling” with a youth with the door closed. You have been a member of the church for several years, and you know that the youth pastor is well-loved by many. But there is something about the closed door and those frequent one-on-one meetings that make you want to say something to someone. It just doesn’t feel right. What do you do?
First, you are right to question the behavior. Although it is very possible that nothing unsavory is going on, your gut tells you that at the very least, this type of behavior does not fit with your church’s policy for working with children and youth. No adult should be alone with a child or youth (other than their own). It is for the protection of the vulnerable person, and also the youth pastor.
Your first action step is to tell someone (a supervisor, your pastor, or other leader) about what you have witnessed. Often, people do not come forward because they are afraid of getting someone in trouble. Don’t let that stop you from trusting your instinct to say something about what you know is not a good situation.