5 Guardrails All Youth Ministers Need

There are times when I wake up on a Friday and wonder, “Did we have high school ministry last night or did I go clubbing?”  Youth ministry can be exhausting and as I get older I realize it can be a drain.

As a youth minister you’ll be emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally  pushed.  And, if you aren’t guarding yourself it’ll burn you out.  To properly guard against the grind you need to make sure you:


For a long time I got this wrong.  Delegating isn’t giving someone else a task.  Delegation is giving responsibility and authority to someone else.

If you want to expand your capacity and create effective ministry you need to relinquish ownership to people you trust and have a high capacity to lead.  They need to embrace the vision and be willing to make hard decisions.


You cannot lead successfully if you are constantly rushing.  Margin and rest will give you time to process decisions.  It will give you time to recover and readjust to change.

The reason you need to schedule it in is because there are enemies to margin and rest.  There will be temptations to please others.  There will be pressure to get more done.  But, if you are on the fringes everything you will do will suffer.


Ministry is not meant to be done on your own.  And when you are in the trenches it’s easy to get lost in your own world.  You and I need people who are going to look out for us.  We need people mentoring and holding us accountable to our decisions and actions.

You can find that person with a small group from your church, a network of other youth workers or finding someone to mentor you one on one. (To learn about MYM 1 on 1 Coaching go HERE)


Where communication lacks confusion exists.  Nothing can create more work for you than trying to clear up a mess that could have been prevented.

You need to make sure that you are constantly communicating and touch base with your ministers, parents, teens and staff.  In fact it’s rare for people to over communicate.  And if that’s the feedback, then chances are you are doing a great job.


Again, it’s easy to get lost in the trenches of youth ministry.  It’s easy to lose sight of what’s work, family and spiritual life.  If you aren’t working out your own salvation then chances are you’ll be less effective helping others.

You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to make it a priority.  This is where accountability, and rest are so important.  Use those times to check in with God and to have someone challenge you to continue to grow.

If you want to keep the ministry growing you need to make sure you can keep going.   To keep going means being mindful of what’s happening around you and to you.

Question: What practices do you embrace to help you endure the rigors of ministry?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.