How To Survive The Trenches Of Ministry

4 Steps To Help You Heal And Refuel

If you feel drained, it’s normal.  Working for the church is draining but it can also be fulfilling.  You just need to know how to heal anytime you have been scarred.

While the temptation might be to grab a bag of chips, watch a Sylvester Stallone movie and then eat a bowl of ice cream (Okay, maybe that’s just me), there are better ways to recover from the pain and endure the journey by:


Just because you work in a church it doesn’t mean you will automatically go deeper in your relationship with Christ.  In fact, you probably have to work harder.

Don’t assume that your work will feed you in the same way that personal prayer will.  Set aside time where you are praying, reading scripture, and serving outside your ministry walls.  The more you invest in your own discipleship the more you’ll be able to invest in others.


There is a lot of noise in our lives and not just audibly.  Are schedules, environments and habits are polluted with busyness and distractions.  When you have noise it means you lack margin.  When you lack margin it means you lack the ability to:

  • Listen to others, especially God.
  • Make clear decisions.
  • Focus on what’s most important.

It’s with silence where we can truly take the time to figure out what to do next.  To find that silence:

  • Start your prayer time with a breathing exercise.
  • Drive to work with out the radio.
  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before bed.

If you want to go big eliminate an activity, responsibility or obligation from your schedule.  Get that margin, so that you can remain flexible and the opportunity to heal after a rough night.


Even if you are obsessed with youth ministry it’s important to have a life outside of it.  For me I enjoy running, hiking, camping, and cooking.  Those are areas of my life that help me grow outside of ministry.


Your outlets should allow you to explore hidden talents.  They should push you outside of your comfort zone.  When our life is only ministry we become one dimensional.  God created you to be more than that.


I’m constantly pouring into others.  As a father, husband, brother, youth minister, coach and mentor I’m pouring into people constantly.  The question that I need to answer is:

Who is pouring into me?

It’s important to have others invest in you.  I have my own coaches, fellow youth workers, friends and family members who help me live out the calling God has placed on my life.  These people hold me accountable by:

  • Asking hard questions, even if I don’t want to answer them.
  • Reminding me what I enjoy, what fuels me and connects me to Christ.
  • Love me when I can’t do it myself.

I’ve found these people by joining a small group, getting involved in ministries and reaching out for help.  You need to make sure you are finding that support too.

Ministry is a grind but it’s worth the pain.  It’s worth the pain as long as you know how to heal, refuel and get filled up.  Don’t ignore what’s going on inside of your heart and above all else guard it, for it’s the wellspring of life.

Question:  How do you survive the trenches of church ministry? You can leave a comment by clicking here.