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Youth Ministry Survey Reveals Opportunities for Improvement
New study reveals most youth ministries screen workers, but more need to document communications policies.

Contact: Ashley Moore, Christianity Today, 630-260-6200 ext 4230

CAROL STREAM, Ill., Feb. 5, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christianity Today (CT) and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company have released findings of a joint research project -- Youth Ministry in America. The study, based on responses from more than 800 youth ministry leaders across the United States, highlights key findings on the demographics, activities, and practices of youth ministries.

The study explored the level of communication between the senior pastor and youth pastor, support given to the church's youth program, safety practices, and training provided to leaders and volunteers.

Communication emerged as a key area of vulnerability for churches. Adult-student texting is a particular concern. Six in ten youth pastors report that they communicate with individual students a few times a week or more, but only three in ten have a written policy governing such communications.

"When youth ministry is done well, students are engaged and move closer to Christ and each other," says Marian Liautaud, editor of resources at Church Law and Tax for CT. "But often youth ministries expose themselves to increased risks. Our hope is that the Youth Ministry in America findings will help churches establish solid boundaries and best practices so they can serve teens in the church effectively and safely."

The study also explored how well senior pastors are informed about activities in their church's youth ministry.

"This research gives us a clearer picture of youth ministries in America," says Mitzi Thomas, vice president of marketing at Brotherhood Mutual. "It gives us concrete ideas for how we can come alongside ministries with tools and resources to help them reach more young people."

An executive summary of the full survey findings is available on ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com and at BrotherhoodMutual.com.

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company offers comprehensive property, liability, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance for churches and related ministries throughout the United States. Other programs include foreign liability and travel assistance for short- and long-term mission trips and payroll and tax filing services.

Christianity Today is a nonprofit, global media ministry that equips Christians to renew their minds, serve the church, and create culture to the glory of God. With its vision to see the church grown up into the fullness of Christ, the ministry reaches more than 3.5 million people every month through a wide range of digital and print resources.