How To Endure Difficult Seasons Of Ministry

Some nights I just want to drown my face in a Chick-fil-a Cookies & Creme Milkshake.  Those nights usually come in the midst of a season where youth ministry feels like a job.  Instead of enduring the pain I succumb to pressure and devour the milkshake.  For a few moments I’m free and then reality comes right back.

There will be seasons when you just have to endure.  The pain might be the result of:

  • Volunteer Turnover
  • A Parent Who Chews You Out
  • Declining Attendance
  • Tension With The Pastor

Doesn’t matter what the source of the problem is, life is difficult.  To endure the difficult seasons and come out stronger on the other side, it’s important to: 

Build Support

When you face a problem on your own you put the burden completely on your shoulders.  Find other youth workers who know the pressure you feel.  Go out for a cup of coffee and just give yourself permission to vent.  Ask them to pray for you.  When you are not alone the situation won’t seem as dire.

Lean In And Face The Situation 

When ministry gets difficult it’s easy to find comfort and pleasure in the wrong things.  Do not hide or ignore the tension, instead lean into it.  Your problems will be solved sooner when you face them.  Seek insight from others and create a plan on how you will address the situation.

Do Something You Love

Sometimes you just need a break.  Engage in a hobby or something different from the daily grind. When you do something you love you exercise your creativity and give yourself a little break from the tension.  While the problem won’t go away you’ll be able to approach it with a fresh perspective.

Trust In The Lord 

When youth ministry hits a difficult season it’s usually a sign for you to slow down and just trust in God.  Take a day off and use it to refocus on God.  Pick up a journal and record your emotions and thoughts.  Pursue God and listen to His loving voice.  In the end He is the reason you will endure.

Youth ministry is a battle and there will be seasons you just have to endure.  They stink; however, they are temporary.  Do not ignore the situation, instead address it head on. 

How do you endure difficult seasons in student ministry?