“The risk of being a youth leader in North America has increased greatly in the past ten years. While the value of each young life has remained priceless, the legal and monetary damages involved have skyrocketed. The youth leader who overlooks the crucial role of safety in his or her ministry risks substantial losses in ministry opportunities, relationships, reputation, time and finances.” (Jack Crabtree, Better Safe Than Sued, Group Publishing 1998.)
What Responsibility do we Bear?
Simply stated, “Youth ministry is risky business.” Think of what can go wrong when you are with youth at an activity on church property or at an off-site event. The possibilities for a crisis, big or small, are endless.
But the good news is that thinking ahead and following basic risk management guidelines can help manage and minimize some of the risks you take as a volunteer or professional youth worker. Risk management is about more than looking for trouble; it’s about looking for solutions that can make your youth ministry more effective.
What are the legal and ethical issues of managing a youth event? What effect do covenants, liabilities, medical forms, insurance, adult leaders, emergency plans, abuse issues, and crisis intervention have in the risk management of a youth event?
We live in a world of travel. It is no wonder that youth ministry is into travel. Every teens in congregations are traveling to Servant Events, District or National Youth Gatherings, mission stations, river rafting trips, or ski mountains in the United States and around the world.
This resource is designed to help leaders make the most of a ministry of travel. This guide is divided into two parts:content pieces and meeting designs.
The two components can be used to empower groups to create great plans for ministry.
The Content Pieces give specific information, ideas, and suggestions for traveling with teens.
The Meeting Designs provide an agenda and a process to help groups make important decisions as they build their travel plans together. The process includes group activities and directions to help you make the most of your meeting.
This resource is best used as a series of meetings. The outline of the meetings indicates when to use a particular Content Piece.
This booklet will guide you through a process that can result in a meaningful ministry travel event. The Content Pieces provide some real-life examples and point to a process that will empower your group of planners to create and plan a travel experience. When you finish this travel guide with your youth, you will be ready to roll with a real vehicle for ministry.
I hope this booklet will help you in each step of your journey. May it empower a safe and significant ministry event. Most of all, I pray that each trip you take will become a faith-building journey toward a stronger relationship to Christ and a more active Christian community.
The scene is the same in churches of different denominations across the country. There’s a special youth trip or activity coming up, and it takes money to make it happen. Where do you begin?

Somehow it would be easier to simply assess each young person going on the trip his or her share of the expenses. But ease isn’t the name of the game. In fact, the positives of active and creative fundraising far outweigh the negatives of the time and trouble you might incur. In the following pages, you’ll discover information and tips on how to raise funds with your youth group. You’ll also find out how to create a positive attitude and establish a game plan to help everyone involved become excited about your youth group fund raisers.

Why Bother with Fundraisers?
Fundraisers are usually thought of as having only one purpose: accumulating funds for a specific project. If that’s the case, then you can probably assume there are several other ways to finance a project. For example:
  • Your congregation may simply decide to take the needed funds out of the church treasury.
  • The youth group may plan far enough in advance so the youth activity can become a part of the church budget for the coming year.
  • Each young person or parent who plans to participate in the project may be assessed a portion of the costs for the event.
  • Monthly dues may be charged to youth group members and placed in the youth group treasury to finance upcoming events.
  • Grants, scholarships, or matching funds from benevolent organizations or companies are possible, especially for service-related projects.
  • Direct donations may be solicited from members or friends of the church.
As you can see, fundraising isn’t the only way to meet financial goals. Propose some of the preceding suggestions as alternatives to fundraising or suggest they be used in combination with the fundraising projects.
revised and updated for thESource June 2011