Youth churches provide a safe place for Christian teens to receive spiritual guidance, build fellowship with their peers and offer service to their community. For Christians, youth churches play an important role in the often-difficult transition from childhood into adulthood. Among their peers teens can comfortably discuss the issues that are most important to them. Although many youth programs are less structured than a traditional Sunday morning service, there is still a certain code of etiquette that should be followed by all attendees.
Youth churches generally provide lots of opportunities for interaction among members, so it is essential for youth to treat those that they come in contact with respectfully. Youth members should not tease or belittle those around them; even if their intention is friendly or playful, it may be upsetting to someone who is feeling vulnerable or attempting to gain serious insight into an issue. It is also important not to talk over anyone else. If someone is speaking, it is polite to wait until they have finished to contribute to the conversation. It is also essential that youth members avoid using language that may offend those around them.
Honor the Facility
Whether the youth service is held in a designated chapel, a classroom in a large church or an outdoor area on church grounds, it is important for youth to recognize that they are in a shared space and act accordingly. Youth members should avoid doing anything that may damage the facility, such as walking on furniture, throwing things at walls or sticking gum on the bottom of chairs. Attendees should try to leave the space as neat as it was when they arrived, or neater.
Dressing appropriately for youth church is essential. In general, attendees should avoid wearing anything that will cause a disruption or bring negative attention to themselves. Girls should not wear tops that show their midriffs or expose their cleavage. Attendees should also avoid shorts shorter than the tip of their finger with their arms fully extended by their sides. Any clothing with slogans, phrases or images that could be deemed offensive should be avoided. On retreats that involve swimming, girls should wear tankini or one-piece bathing suits, while boys should select modest swim shorts that hit near the knee.
Sometimes discussions in youth churches can become serious or emotional. It is acceptable for participants to hug or physically comfort each other in these instances, but it is important that physical contact be respectful. When possible, participants should give a side hug or a hug where the arms go around the other person's shoulders. Participants should not grab anyone by the hips or waist during a hug and should make sure they leave enough space between their bodies for light to be seen. Couples should also avoid engaging in public displays of physical affection, as they may make other feel uncomfortable or alienated.
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