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The Youth Minister's First Crisis

Help for the youth minister who faces an irrational, unjustified, or just plain unexpected confrontation.

It was early Sunday morning, and the furthest thing from my mind was what waited for me in my office. Two parents sat looking at me. "What are you doing with our teens?" It was an accusation, not a question. "What do you mean?"

"We're talking about the two boys drunk at the young people's picnic Saturday afternoon who got arrested!" "What? There wasn't anybody drunk at that picnic."

"You might as well begin packing, because after the board meeting tonight you won't have a job here!"

And with that they both walked out. Talk about being astounded. A little checking in the high school department produced a different story. After we had split up, two of the senior high students went into another area of the state park and began throwing rocks at beer bottles. A park ranger came by and made them pick up the bottles and put them in his pickup. Then he escorted the boys out of the park. Somewhere in all of this, a parent saw the boys with beer bottles in their hands and the ranger "arresting" them. ...

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From Issue:Spring 1982: Time
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