Guidelines for Teen Gatherings
Set Apart Ministries' goals include the restoration of our Hebrew heritage and the recognition of the need to observe YHWH's commands in our daily walk. Along with learning line upon line, precept upon precept and more about His Word, so are we also learning more about a Torah pursuant lifestyle. While we recognize that the adults who have come to this understanding are willing to make behavioral changes that reflect their desire to live a set apart/kadosh/holy lifestyle--indeed, MUST be willing to do so--the teens in their families may not yet understand or accept this desire. Occasionally, we also see situations in which the children or teens come to this understanding first and are hopeful that their parents will in time as well.
While we cannot expect sudden, radical changes, we do need to see a teachable spirit and willingness on the part of each family member to learn halacha (how we walk) that is pleasing to our Father and His Son, Yahshua, our Messiah. All of us are coming out of the desert in much the same way as the Hebrew children were brought out of Egypt. It takes time to learn our God's set apart ways. We are Ephraim and Judah, learning how to be one people with one God.
Therefore, we have established some general guidelines as agreed upon by Set Apart Ministries leadership and parents who want their children, especially teens, to participate in S.A.M. gatherings:
- Pleasant, mannerly greeting of one another in a normal tone and volume of speech.
- Acceptance of each participant by demonstrating respect for them.
- Conversation between participants in a friendly manner.
- Respect and obedience to the adult chaperone's directions.
- Regular attendance at Torah study and/or worship gatherings.
- Willingness to engage in planned activity together with others in the group.
- These behaviors would be expected whenever S.A.M. teens communicate with one another, whether it is by phone, email or in person.
- When visitors are present, they will be treated in the same manner.
- While most teen activities are expected to be primarily for entertainment and socialization, these activities need to be appropriate for people who are honoring YHWH's commands (i.e., will not involve movies which focus on violence, sexual innuendo, etc.).
- Teens are encouraged to help one another by praising or encouraging one another in the pursuit of becoming Torah pursuant, i.e. pursuit of holiness/set apartness/Godliness.
In the interest of helping our teens develop these skills and become comfortable with each other as they become Torah pursuant, guests who are not regular attendees of S.A.M. events and/or who do not share a Torah pursuant worldview will not be permitted to attend. As our teens demonstrate their acceptance and ability to meet these expectations and to reinforce one another in them appropriately, consideration will be given to guests.
This recommendation is made because of the strength of the peer culture, the worldly standards of many teens, which are not consistent with God-pleasing relationships. It is very easy for even one person who comes in behaving in loud, ill-mannered ways to disrupt an entire group unless that group has become strong and clear about their identity as YHWH's set apart people. Our hope is that the S.A.M. teens will gain in their understanding and desire to keep YHWH's standards as their own so that anyone coming into the group will see the benefits of this and come into "set apartness" rather than being able to pull the group's behavior down to the standards of the world/teen culture.
Behaviors that would be discouraged include but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate or skimpy attire; bare midriffs, excessively hole-y clothing, excessively tight or loose clothing, unkempt appearance in general and so forth. (Keep your underwear under your wear.)
- Loud, aggressive talking "at" one another, attempting to speak over others.
- Derogatory remarks made to or about another, whether present or not.
- Coarse or derogatory humor, including jokes about bodily functions or about anyone's physical characteristics.
- Ridicule of another for ANY reason, even if it is ridicule for not behaving in acceptable ways as stated above.
- Derogatory remarks made toward one another because of different school affiliations, activities or preferred music/musicians.
- Disrespect or disregard for these standards and unwillingness to comply when a problem is identified.