Disciplinary Policies & Techniques

Here are three things to remember when faced with kids or students who are being disrespectful, distracting, or who may be harming someone:

No Waiting. Act in the moment.

  • Verbally acknowledge the issue or conflict right away
  • Waiting to redirect distracting or harmful behaviors will not help the child or student improve

No Physical Discipline. Help redirect their actions.

  • It is not appropriate to use physical means of disciplining a child or a student
  • This includes and is not limited to: hitting them in any way, telling them to go run a lap, pulling or pushing them, etc.
  • Focus on redirecting the behavior

For kids especially, politely explain that their behavior is not appropriate, and offer an alternative

If they are still misbehaving remove them from the situation for a period of time

If you are unable to redirect this behavior, speak with your Department Lead to see if they have suggestions or if they could consult the child’s parents


For students, give them a couple chances to improve their behavior before you take further actions

If they are still misbehaving, remove them from the situation or put yourself in the seat between those who are misbehaving

If their behavior continues, move students away from what is distracting them

No Shame. Speak with grace and truth.


  • Be sure that in these situations you are being clear with your words, but that you are also being edifying and respectful to the child
  • If you have a recurring issue with a student’s behavior, bring your concern to your ministry’s Department Lead


  • You may need to talk with a student after a meeting about what happened
  • If this is not a student in your small group, let their leader know or bring their leader along with you if you need to speak with them separate from the group
  • It is important to keep these conversations focused on their behavior; this is not a time to attack their character, but to communicate that certain behaviors are not appropriate while they are at church
  • If you have a recurring issue with a student’s behavior, bring your concern to your ministry’s Department Lead
  • You may or may not want to bring that student with you when you talk to the Department Lead. If they are not your student, this conversation might also include their small group leader