I think what gives me the most reason for pause in your situation is this: your younger brothers and sisters in Christ in your church youth group. What will they think if they see a very recent former group member in a dating relationship with their current youth pastor? Will they continue to learn from his teaching uninterrupted and glean understanding from their Bible studies with him? Or will their focus be diverted to your relationship and will they start seeing the youth pastor in more of a predatory-possibly-creepy light (even though you are of legal age, I understand) instead of as a trusted mentor and shepherd?

Do you see the point I’m trying to make? Let’s also see what Scripture has to say:

Avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).That means if the “appearance” of what you are doing (even if it is on the up and up) would lead someone to think there is something “evil” going on and could be offensive to them, then you need to do your best to steer clear of it.

Do not cause anyone to stumble (1 Corinthians 10:32). If your primary desire is to be someone who is adding to the Kingdom and not detracting from it, being conscientious of your actions and how they can influence others will be a priority for you in your faith journey.

As believers in Christ, our primary mission here on earth is to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to spread the Good News about what he has done for us on the Cross (Matthew 28:16-20). I know you are young, but whether you know it or not you truly are more of an “elder” in your youth group, and the younger members are looking to you as an example for holy living. That means you are charged with living above reproach.

Now, if you start dating your youth pastor after you graduate high school and have exited the church youth group will that cause a “little one” to sin (Mark 9:42)? Maybe and maybe not. But could it cause confusion and cause impressionable teens to doubt what they are hearing being taught from the Word by their youth pastor? Absolutely!

And so my advice to you is to do what might seem like a very drastic measure: do nothing and wait. You have your whole life ahead of you. I can’t give you a timeframe, but I know that if you are prayerfully seeking God’s will in this matter that he will show you when or even if you are to act on your feelings for your youth pastor. In the meantime, “have salt” in yourself (Mark 9:50) as you seek to be a witness for the Lord and let your life point to him wherever you go and in whatever you do.

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

Laura MacCorkleSHE is … 
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one. 

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!). 

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