It happened like it’s happened many times before. After Mass a parent comes up to me to say, “I have been trying to reach you.” It’s a moment of desperation, panic or emergency in a parent’s life. They need you to assist them. The question is HOW?
As a youth minister families will come to you in time of need. Even if you are not a parent they’ll want to know how to:
- Talk to their teen about sex?
- Get them to focus on their schoolwork?
- Get them more involved in the church?
- Discipline them when they are in trouble?
The list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming to assist a family or parent in need. To get through the messiness and be there for a family make sure you:
I have been working in youth ministry since 2006, and I have been at my current parish for almost 3 years. Over the last year I have had to de-volunteer (aka ask a volunteer to leave/fire) 2 people.
In my experience, nothing can be as awkward and uncomfortable as asking a volunteer to take a break. Nobody wants to do it, but in all reality, sometimes it has to be done. From these recent experiences, I’ve learned 5 valuable lessons on the right and wrong way to de-volunteer someone:
I had no clue what I was doing. On my first day of youth ministry I remember just sitting at my desk trying to figure out which tasks to tackle first. Eventually I figured it out. But, that was after a lot of mistakes, failure and heart break.
Starting out in youth ministry can be daunting. You are either thrown into a plethora of programs or you need to start from scratch. So many tasks to tackle and many places to start. If you are not careful you can find yourself overcommitted, overworked and headed towards burnout.
If you are just starting out or looking to start over it’s essential to set a solid foundation. That means tackling certain tasks right away. Such as:
For youth ministers Sunday is your biggest day. It’s the Sabbath. It’s the beginning of your work week. It’s the one time of week when people are coming to you. This means you have huge potential to make an impact. So, what are you going to do with that time?
Believe it or not you do not have to do anything huge. In fact there are several small action steps you can partake on a Sunday in order to have a huge impact. 7 of those small actions that will lead to big impact are:
“WHY AM I DOING THIS?” That was the question racing through my mind as I was cleaning out the crab water from the trunk of my car after the middle school crab feast. It had been a fun night; however, nothing had changed. I wondered, “Is it time for this program to die?”
Just like volunteers and students, programs will come and go. You need to determine when they should go before they hurt your ministry. 3 signs a program needs to go is that it starts to: