4 Things That Scare Youth Ministers

I have a fear of heights.  While I can get on a plane the idea of climbing a 40ft ladder causes my palms to sweat.  We all have fears that we need to face, especially when it comes to youth ministry.

What are youth ministers scared of?  Maybe it’s the idea of losing a teen on a trip or dealing with an injury in a game of dodgeball.  Early on in youth ministry these four things freaked me out the most:

DEALING WITH ANGRY PARENTS

It’s easy to take the anger personal, especially if there is a range of emotion.  When someone approaches you with anger it’s easy to feel like you are being attacked.

Instead of hiding from the angry parent, engage them with love.  Listen, affirm them and keep them in your prayers.  When they see you are there for them it can create calm because they’ll know they aren’t alone.

(For more on dealing with emotionally charged parents, read HERE)

HANDLING DISRUPTIVE TEENS

You’ve worked all week on preparing that reflection.  You want everything to go just right because you believe this will move teens closer to Christ.  But, you panic because you know that one kid could mess it all up.

To approach disruptive teens make sure you have a plan in place.  Be sure to prepare your ministers to help you execute the activity and approach any disruptions.  Having a plan and a team will ensure that any disruption will be handled appropriately.

(For more on disruptive teens, read HERE)

FACING A DROP IN ATTENDANCE

Whenever there is a drop in attendance, even for one week it’s easy to get hopeless and feel helpless.  Instead of feeling despair remember youth ministry is a journey.

Combat your fear of retaining teens by measuring your ministry.  This will give you a big picture and allow you to see trends with teen’s attendance.  You’ll realize some things are just out of your control and that’s okay.

In addition to measuring remind your team to reach out to teens during the week.  When teenagers know that you are a part of their weekly life they’ll return the investment.

(How to measure your ministry, read HERE)

ONE ON ONE WITH THE PASTOR

Fear of meeting with the pastor is a sign that the relationship needs improvement.  If you are scared to meet one on one with him then it means you need to build trust and open up communication.

Look for times where you can invite him to be a part of your ministry, ask questions about his life and grow together as coworkers in the trenches of church ministry.  The stronger the relationship the less fear you’ll feel when he says, “Can we talk?”

(For more on building a healthy relationship with your pastor, read HERE)

The reason we have fears in youth ministry is because we all are broken.  There are insecurities that need to be addressed and the only way you will combat them is by working on your relationship with God.

Learn to trust that He will place you right where you need to be even if it causes tension.  When you can face your fears you can build confidence as a leader and take ministry on for the long haul.

Question: What scares you as a youth minister/church worker? You can leave a comment by clicking here.