You can read yesterday’s blog if you want to know more about why I’m writing this stuff this week.
Stop – Allowing pranks
Stop immediately – Being the one doing the pranking!
Many times student pastors are quick to criticize the overall church for not making changes fast enough. We would say they don’t stay up to date. Probably because no one likes change. In this area, we are just like them.
I have always hated pranks. Even as a teenager, that was one of my least favorite parts of overnight trips. I was an overweight teenagers which means I was picked on, criticized, and just flat out embarrassed all of the time. So I already dealt with this type of stuff from students at school, why would I want to deal with it at a summer camp with Christians?
The fact of the matter is people have a new word for pranks and it’s called bullying. Bullying has been around forever, but never taken more seriously than it is today. What many of us would allow at an overnight retreat would cause a student to be suspended from school for a week! You wonder why a parent got that upset over a little shaving cream prank at church? It’s because it would NEVER be allowed at their school.
– Pranks add nothing to your event. I know you may think its an awesome tradition to throw people in the pool at summer camp, but that girl that was embarrassed didn’t think so.
– Pranks only destroy the movement of God at your event. Students go back to their room after an amazing service. Instead of talking about what God is doing, they plot out how to get the girls back for what they did to them earlier today.
– Pranks make students never want to come back to your church. “But we did it because we love them. That’s how we should affection!” Nope you did it because you wanted a good laugh and aren’t funny enough to come up with a clean joke.
I’ve had staff, adult leaders, and others get angry because I don’t allow pranks at events. I have never regretted fighting the battle to stop pranking/bullying because I think back to a 16 year old me that would have never came back if I’d been picked on by other students.