There’s a new blog for Catholic youth ministers called Totally Catholic, and when I mean new, I mean brand new. Still there’s a very interesting early post on what to do about “poisonous” volunteers, i.e. youth ministry volunteers who are like poison in your youth group. If you’ve experienced them, you know what I mean. I’m happy to say I’ve only encountered the phenomenon only a few times, but the hard reality is that sometimes you have to do something about them before something worse comes up.
By that I mean, usually they just bring your group down in certain ways, whether scaring kids away or driving the other volunteers (and the youth minister) crazy. But sometimes they’re bad news. I remember hearing about one youth minister who found out two of his volunteers, male and female, had moved in together. Another one found out that one of his volunteers was working as a stripper! (It did explain all the boys joining the group.) And, of course, there was the volunteer who was caught (by kids in his youth group) in an AOL chat room engaging in a homosexual chat with teen boys. He was sent packing rather quickly.
(That brings up another point: This guy has no criminal record, but he’s an obvious danger. What’s to stop another parish from bringing him in as a volunteer? Because after he was dismissed from volunteering, it was learned that he had been asked to leave a previous parish for the same reasons. But there was no mechanism for either of the parishes to let other parishes know about this guy. Scary.)
Anyway, check out the blog which is going to be about a lot more than just scary volunteers, I’m sure. The top post is about NET. Those guys are cool.