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Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions

QUESTION:

Dear Jonathan,

I have a situation i do not know how to handle. We have a 20year old sponsor for our 6-8th grade group recruited by our previous youth leader. This girl has not been receptive to the guidelines regarding being alone with the kids. She will not support another sponsor if a discipline issue arises. She refuses to discuss anything with the adult sponsors. Now because of a conflict over one of our youth she has opted to take a break from the group,her decision, but is now meeting with the kids,communicating with them by e-mail and is apparently angry with me and the other sponsors and letting the kids in on it. I now have upset kids, parents and pastor. I have tried to talk with her to no avail. I am fairly new at all of this and want to do the right thing for everyone. I think her actions say that she is thinking of herself and not about the kids. What do you think I should do?

Donna,

ANSWER:

Donna,

Wow- it's times like these that I really wish I had called those references on their application.

First- let me tell you- I've had one of these too. I call them the "Fatal Attraction" staff member. The one you wish you had never started a relationship with. I needed staff desperately and I recruited a girl, by-passing some of the formalities. We noticed some problems, talked with her . . . no response. So I talked with her again, this time a little more severely. "I really need you to stop taking these kids out to the dance place to pick up on guys!" She didn't get it.

Make a long story short- we removed her from our staff, but she wouldn't stop seeing our kids, lying to them, trying to get them against us . . . what a nightmare! Then she broke into my house and boiled my rabbit! Oh . . . wait . . . she didn't do that . . . that was that movie . . . Anyway, I feel your pain.

This is one of those things that you can't necessarily "fix," you can only "do the right thing" and let time pass. If you do what's Godly and right, then no one can say anything against you. Eventually the situation will pass, and your character will shine through. Keep showing love to the students involved. You won't need to say a word about the issue- your actions will speak more truth. Talk is cheap- and kids know that.

The good news is, that in my situation, the kids involved with the "psycho-staff-person" eventually saw the inconsistencies in her life. They actually came back and apologized for ever thinking bad about us.

Let me know how it goes . . . and don't leave your rabbit outside!!!

Keep up the good work!

God Bless,

Jonathan













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