I know it does not sound like fun but our student ministry has a no pranks allowed policy for all our events and that has been my standard in every student ministry I have led over the past 13 years. Do I like pulling pranks…yes. Do I like having pranks pulled on me…not really. The reason we started asking teens not to pull pranks in our ministry years ago was simple, we never want a teen to leave an event where they felt harassed by other teens or leaders. Things like that go down enough in school on on sports teams all over the country, but we just have a different standard as the church. How many times have pranks become a barrier for teens following Christ or connecting with a student ministry? I am betting more often than you think. Here are a few reasons not to allow pranks in the ministry you lead…
- The wrong kids always become the target >> Most of the times it’s the weaker kid, the new kid, the different kid who becomes the target of a prank. Teens look for a safe target and go for it. We have to stand up for kids who need protecting.
- Pranks are just distracting >> Pranks become the focus of teens when they get started. Pranks distract teens form whatever event you are leading because they are planning a prank or trying to avoid being pranked. Our mission to create a safe environment for teens to grow spiritually.
- Teens make bad choices when it comes to pranks >> Teens and many leaders never know when to stop when pranks begin. Pranks push great kids to make some really dumb choices.
- I’ve never seen a prank lead to life change >> Never seen a person follow Christ because of a great prank that was pulled. They have a memory but I have never seen a prank lead to life change.
- Pranks can turn into a legal nightmare >> Yes, trust me…I’m a parent and if you mess with my kid you mess with me. Parents are not playing around with this stuff anymore and I really don’t blame them. Allowing pranks placing you and your ministry in danger of a legal disaster.