Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Youth Workers Never Die | Facebook

A Facebook exchange with a youth worker friend on the subject of Facebook

Hey there! I was wanting your thoughts on something, especially since you seem so connected to many youth pastors. I have heard a lot in the news lately about the problems coming up with teachers being "friends" with their students on facebook. Some schools are making it school policy that it is not allowed. We try to be so smart about appropriate behavior with students and often use teacher standards as a guideline.

Do you think it is appropriate for youth pastors to be "friends" with their students? Should they create a youth group page and strictly communicate through that one? Or are both too risky and should youth pastors stay away from it altogether?

I hope you are doing well Jim :) Tell that lovely wife of yours hello for me.

Hey Meg! I certainly think a group page is appropriate and I have no problem with youth workers friending students as long as they're clear what that means, including clear boundaries.

IMHO FB is no more dangerous than phones, text messages, email or letter-writing — and may be a good deal less dangerous if updates are kept in the open. I think exceptions may be made when an appropriate level of confidentiality is required to respond to sensitive questions. At which point I think additional safeguards and accountability should come into play between youth workers, spouses and bosses and that those standards and practices should be common knowledge throughout the community.

That's a quick answer. Does it make sense?

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