What To Do With Disruptive Teens

It seems to always happen at the worst moment possible. You know the moment you want everyone tuned into God.  Maybe it’s during your message, or a quiet moment of prayer.  It’s during that time the disruption begins.  Teenagers.

In youth ministry there will always be disruptive teens.  The challenge of dealing with them can be overwhelming.  You don’t want to kick anyone out, but you need to make sure you protect everyone else’s experience.  Take on distractions in your ministry by:


The more you let it fester the more it grows out of control.  If a teen disrupts don’t ignore it.  Ask them immediately to be mindful of others.  Do it lovingly, and ask them not to do it again.


It’s easy to think the teen is just being immature.  The reality might be something completely different.  Teens will act out for a variety of reasons.  Your job is to find out what that reason by:

  • Asking if they teen is aware of his or her behavior.
  • Listening to their whole story.
  • And giving them the benefit of the doubt.

If you assume without diving deeper you’ll only find yourself solving the wrong problem.  Listen for the story beneath the story.  Find out how you can best help that teen grow away so that they won’t be a disruption.


Do not be the only person to handle disruptions.  Equip your team with a plan and empower them to own the situation.  They need to know:

  • What to do with reoccurring disruptions.
  • When to contact parents.
  • How to follow up.

When you train your leaders go over the steps so they know what needs to be done.  Build your capacity.

Working with disruption is not fun, but it will happen in your ministry.  Be proactive and develop a plan, and get people on board. You will minimize the distractions and keep your ministry strong.

Question:  How do you deal with disruption?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.