Double Dipping: What Would You Do?

There’s a group of youth workers that I meet with from time to time just to share life and talk shop.  No agenda, it’s just hanging out and discussing community, ministry and family.  Being that there are several churches and youth organizations in the area it’s no surprise that from time to time that the name of one student will pop up over and over again.  It’s not a negative conversation; however, as the name is discussed we notice that they are attending multiple youth ministries.  The teen is positive and a has potential to be a student leader; however, lacks commitment to really get involved.
It’s not one student checking out a bunch of churches; but, actively involved in a few.  It’s the case of double dipping, so might ask, “What would you do?”
Do you make the case for your church? 

While we are all about bring teens to Christ, you believe the theology of your church is slightly more aligned than the others.  You want the teen to see while there is no bad choice; but, going with the path your church has laid out is slightly better.

Do you encourage them to commit to the other church?
Again we are all in this together and you realize that the church down the road would benefit greatly from this teens commitment.  Again, they are a student leader, so instead of keeping him for yourself, you decide that others need him more.

Do you just let it go?
If the student is making it work, why try and fix it?  The teen seems happy, their small group leader doesn’t seem to mind, so why even bother?  As long as they are getting fed and learning how to spread the Good News all is fine.

So how would you address the situation?  Would you address it at all?  Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments.

Double Dipping: What Would You Do?

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  • Brian Kirk says:

    Good question. I have a student who does exactly this and she has the potential to be a really great leader…if she’d just to commit to one ministry. On the other hand, I wonder that at her age it’s good to experience the diversity of the church and connect with as many Christian youth as possible. So, while I’d rather have her with us all the time, I let it go. Now, if I suspected she was just hopping from church to church depending on when each was going bowling or having a lockin, it would be a different matter.

  • Brian,

    Thanks for sharing. I think the distinction is good between seeking out truth and a bowling alley, but what happens if she is going to another church where your theology clashes with theirs? What do others think?

  • Trazy Lyn says:

    It’s interesting to bring this up. May I also add another question for comment: what about youth workers double-dipping?
    When I first started, I worked with two youth ministries. One was a 5-hour/week job and the other was a 10-hour/week job, but I was trying to focus on the bigger one and helping the other transition toward another youth worker that would fit their budget. Since then, I tell my volunteer ministers that they need to be with one group or another (middle school or high school, not both) because I know it was hard to focus on one group of kids.

    But there are many youth workers out there that work with multiple ministries. Has anyone had any success with this? Could there be any benefits?

  • Trazy Lyn,

    Thanks for the question, interesting situation; however, I feel strongly that a volunteer or paid youth worker should only focus on one ministry. I have a hard time finding any benefits, because you need to be focused in what you do. It’s hard enough leading one, I can’t imagine it; however, if someone has a successful story please share it.