Christianity is principally a love relationship with the living God out of which flows a lifestyle that is pleasing
One of the dangers of the Christian life is to allow your relationship with God to focus on outward behavior without love for God as the motivation. Our focus of Christian growth and maturity is a deeper and more mature love for God. Once that is accomplished, right behavior will follow.
As a result, the behavior guide at West Cannon encourages and enhances the development of a student’s relationship with God. We do have rules, and we expect them to be followed but they are not our focus. A relationship with Christ is the correct focus. Obeying the rules should be only an expression of a student’s love for God.
One of the greatest disservices our ministry can offer is to promise students, parents, and church members that the Student Ministries will be free of sin. An attempt to fulfill such an unrealistic expectation, would require a legalistic, rigid approach to behavior where unacceptable behavior is thought to be curtailed by an excessively detailed code of conduct. There are several serious problems with this approach:
· It does not work.
· It has the wrong goal.
· It creates an unhealthy dependency upon a system of rules.
· It promotes a passive, potentially offensive attitude toward others sins.
· It reduces the Student Ministry staff to the role of an enforcement agency.
Our goal is serve our students and their families in a trustworthy way that never undermines the authority, standards, or godly practices of families. The following Behavior Guides reflect our desire to minister to many individuals and families working in harmony together and to honor God. We desire that these guidelines would not be viewed as legalistic rules, but as guidelines that encourage a growing love for God and others. We want anyone participating in our ministry to have the confidence of a shared commitment of harmony, sympathy, love, compassion and humility when it comes to making and keeping behavior guidelines in the Student Ministries.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.
1 Peter 3:8
Develop Godly Relationships
1. Treat everyone with respect.
Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.
1 Peter 2:17
2. Leave electronics at home.
To encourage positive interaction among students and leaders, we ask that electronic devices not be
brought to Student Ministry programs or activities.
What about Cell Phones?
We ask students not to bring cell phones for overnight and weeklong events. Leaders will have cell phones available should a student need to call his or her parents. Families will be given the cell phone numbers of the leaders attending the event and other emergency numbers, should they need to reach their student. For weeklong trips away, students will be able to use leaders' phones to call their parents at designated times.
3. Live out the Matthew 18 principle.
A. When you know another student has sinned, go to them and lovingly confront them about their sin (v.15).
B. If they do not repent and stop doing that sin, then take one or two other students with you and lovingly
confront them again about their sin (v. 16).
C. If they still do not repent and stop doing that sin, then tell their parents and/or an adult leader (v.17).
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he
listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others
along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he
refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. Matthew 18:15-18
Obey Your Leaders
Obey your leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. Hebrews 13:17
In cases of disobedience, adult leaders will take the following steps:
1. The leader will talk to the student and lovingly and clearly communicate what attitude or action is unacceptable and why. They will ask the student to work at changing their behavior.
2. If the behavior continues and the occasion of the behavior is disruptive to the group, the student may be asked to leave. The student’s parents will be approached to discuss how to help the student with their behavior.
3. Further misbehavior will result in the student being denied the privilege of attending and participating in our programs until
a plan of action is agreed upon by the parents, the student, and the Pastor of Student Ministries.
Pursue Purity and Avoid Youthful Lusts
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
1. Wear modest clothing
A. All believers should wear modest clothing, but girls are given special instruction in the Bible. How girls dress can be a great help or hindrance to purity in the body of Christ.
I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 1 Timothy 2:9–10
B. Modesty is defined in Scripture as dressing in a way that does not draw attention to one’s fashions, styles, or body, but rather to one’s godliness and who one is as a person in Christ.
C. Not everyone will agree on modesty standards; there are differences of opinion between individuals and families. We do not have a dress code, but instead, ask each person to consider— Does my clothing reflect modesty and a commitment to promote the good of the whole group?
D. For swimming, we ask that girls wear one-piece swimsuits or tankini swimsuits that cover the entire midsection.
2. No public displays of affection (PDA) and separate sleeping quarters for guys and girls at overnight activities
That each of you should learn to control his own body and live in holiness and honor... 1 Thessalonians 4:4
For the safety of all students, transportation offered for Student Ministry activities and programs will be provided with church approved adult drivers. For High School events, students may drive when it is appropriate and parents have given their permission, by written note or conversation with the leader in charge. Other students MAY NOT ride with High School drivers unless the passenger’s parents have given permission in the same manner.