Youth ministries are supposed to be safe. They’re intended to be refuges where children can learn about God, as well as get away from the everyday stresses of being a kid—school, peer pressure, piano lessons and competitive sports.

Youth groups also can be dangerous places. The activities that attract youth—dodgeball, skateboarding ministries and travel opportunities—come with their share of bumps and bruises.

Likewise, summer camp can be full of laughter, fellowship and learning new skills; but also poison ivy, sprained ankles and heat stroke.

Even seemingly innocent day-to-day interactions with youth can lead to unspeakable dangers—for the youth and for the viability of your ministry.

“The worst mistake [ministries] make is that many youth workers say, ‘this won’t happen to me,’” Jack Crabtree, author of Better Safe than Sued, told The Deacon’s Bench.

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