Poll: How do You Enforce Rules in Your Student Ministry?

I hate to bring the word “rules” into student ministry because I don’t want students to feel like our ministry is a class room or just like school. I want it to be a place where they can be themselves and express their struggles to other students and Godly adults. But rules or guidelines, whatever you want to call them, are important and without them your ministry will become pure chaos. We are currently struggling with what rules we need to set and how to enforce those rules. We have shared some rules in the past, but some students are not obeying them. I want to get your feedback on this and learn from what you are doing. Take the quick poll below and leave a comment explaining how you handle this issue in your ministry. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts!

Published by Austin McCann

Austin is the student ministries director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, OH. He has a BA from Piedmont International University and a Master of Arts in Religion with a Christian leadership focus from Liberty University School of Divinity. Austin enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball and golf, and spending time with his family.

Join the Conversation


  1. If I could, I would have chosen a different option. In the fall we have students fill out their safety forms for the year and in that packet is a list of the rules. We don’t post them on the walls or online and we don’t necessarily go over them in big group unless its a problem and we need to, or we had to add a new rule. The best route is to have small group leaders help enforce the rules as well as help the students know them.

    1. Ben,

      VERY good point about the small group leaders enforcing the rules. When you have a decent sized student ministry, the student pastor cannot enforce every rule with every kid. Thats why it’s important to have your small group leaders in on enforcing the rules.


  2. Explain them at the beginning of the year, and remind them on trips. Also, keep the rules and boundaries in front of parents.

    1. Josh,

      Great point about keeping the rules in front of parents. We often forget to bring the parents into the discussion when talking about rules with students. Thanks for sharing your thoughts bro!


  3. Doesn’t this poll deal mainly with communicating rules rather than enforcing them? I love that you are opening this up for discussion, such a great topic to wrestle!

    1. Good point! I may need to change the title of this poll. Either way, you are right. This is a important topic we need to wrestle with.


  4. I actually do a combination of all three. I met with the Student Ministry Advisory Council to help set the rules (they are a buffer for me so I am not the only one setting the rules). Then, I shared them in the main service and in BFC. Then, I posted them in the youth room and in all BFC classrooms. I also share the rules with each new class as they promote into the student ministry, and revisit them as the need arises. When necessary, I will pull another leader and approach a student who is in clear violation of the standards but I primarily only do this with members and regular attenders. It is rare that I have a visitor who violates the principles. I also call them “Guidelines” and “Guiding Principles” and connect them with Scripture to help the students understand that I am not the originator of the standards but rather God is the originator. I hope this helps!

    1. Josh Harvey,

      I figured you had a pretty well-organized system. Your that kind of guy! Love your thoughts and the way you go about rules in your student ministry. A lot of helpful information for me to think about as I grapple with how to enforce rules in my ministry.


      1. It is exciting that you are opening the doors to the opinion of others. May GOD continue to bless your mininstry.

      2. Len,

        Thanks for leaving a comment on this blog brother! I am trying to learn from others in student ministry and always looking for ways to be better at what God has called me to do. Appreciate you!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s