Tough nite at drop in. Some drunk kids started on one of the young people from church, he did amazingly well and just kept walking away. The situation kept escalating despite me throwing kids out and it came to a head when a bunch tried to come through a window and then a crowd of about 30 all stormed the place and there was me and Heth standing between them and the young guy and we were backed into a corner. The bastards got in a punch over my shoulder before running off like cowards, leaving Jamie with a bloody nose and me with a room full of scared kids. It was so frustrating not being able to fight back, 1- because we're not allowed to, and 2- because if I threw a punch a brawl would have erupted and a brawl that consists of me, Heth and Jamie versus 30 odd drunk kids ends with us very very beaten. I came away from it feeling disappointed that Jamie got hurt and that people were left frightened and frustrated that I hadnt been able to prevent it or at least punch someone!!
Lots of lessons learned on the crisis management front. Strangely in the debrief I found myself setting the course of action I knew we would have to take in spite of my desire to sock a few of these kids in the eye. Next week they will be welcomed back, provided they have not been drinking, and treated with grace and love. Boundaries will be set with the group as a whole about what kind of behaviour is acceptable in order for drop in to function. And I... will be praying for those kids who punched Jamie, and praying that God will soften my heart towards them in spite of what they've done.