So a few months back I was involved with a training night looking at both the theory and theology behind effective discipline in youth groups. I will be slowly bobbing my notes up here, starting today with the easiest bit to copy and paste: the 7 Cs of Effective Godly Disciple.
This is from the ‘discipline basics’ section and it gives us seven things effective discipline should always be. So, without further ado:
There is no universal language of discipline; it’s always dependent on the place and time we’re in. Discipline needs to work within the specific cultural setting in order to be correctly understood and applied. How I disciplined in certain areas of London is very different to areas of North Wales.
Different groups place different expectations on behavior. How one might expect young people to behave at a gig is different to a small group Bible study; as discipline must fit the relevant culture, it must also fit the relevant context.
Discipline in a community should always benefit the community. The community as a whole should feature in the hows, whys, and whens of disciplining individuals. As in the body of Christ, when one part suffers so does the whole. Equally, the community to some degree should be involved in the disciple process.
Effective discipline influences change in behavior – it doesn’t stop behavior dead. In the same way repentance doesn’t stop sinful behavior, it corrects behavior in order to not be sinful.
Discipline should be motivated by and done with a heart that cares for the individual and community in question. It should be driven by love as is the Father’s discipline of us.
Discipline needs to be consistent throughout the team and as time develops. There should be a set of standards and expectations that don’t change based on mood or what people you’re dealing with. The Father is same yesterday, today, and forever – we know where we stand with him; young people should always know where they stand in order to feel safe and respected.
Discipline needs to be talked about with other team members and with young people. There needs to be broad expectations before discipline has to be used. Deciding together during a team meeting some principles of discipline is a must.