There is something about youth ministry that makes us feel completely alone. You could be surrounded by hundreds of teens and dozens of volunteers. But, that feeling of isolation will sneak up on you.
If you feel isolated or alone it’s important to know that you are not alone. Everyday there are thousands of men and women in the trenches doing what you are doing. To feel that solidarity and battle the isolation you need to make sure you:
TRACK THE TRIGGERS
Sometimes isolation sneaks up on you and sometimes it’s totally predictable. Whenever you feel that isolation start tracking it. Note how you feel and what’s happening around you.
When you start tracking your isolation it allows you recognize triggers. Maybe you feel loneliness due to a rough night, an argument at home or just feeling a little worn out.
PLUG INTO A COMMUNITY OF YOUTH MINISTERS
Doesn’t have to be within your denomination, but it should be in person. Even if it’s just three of you connect, grab a bite to eat and share life. It’s one thing to know that you are not alone, but it’s another to see it.
The great thing about most conferences is that they are a reminder of, “We can do this.” Conferences are almost like a pep rally before the big game. While there is plenty of content to educate you, they also provide the inspiration to keep moving forward.
REVISIT YOUR PRAYER LIFE
Your prayer life can become mundane if you take it for granted. Doing the same thing over and over again can just become a routine. When it does become a routine isolation can set in.
Reevaluate how you are approaching God by doing something different. Don’t be afraid to call out to God and ask Him for guidance. He’ll give you what you need.
If you are in denial about your isolation it won’t get resolved. No one but God can see into your heart and so no one is going to know unless you tell them that you are struggling.
It could be a fellow youth minister or a trusted friend, but find someone to tell. Ask them to pray with you and hear you out. Having accountability can go a long way.
Isolation is a killer. It’s what leads to burnout and pricey mistakes. When you address it immediately and with the help of others you can overcome it.
Question: What situations or experiences bring you isolation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.