What Missing A Blog Post Taught Me About Ministry

Woke up on Memorial Day and thought to myself, “Not today.”  It’s unusual for me to miss a post.  It wasn’t that I was too busy or did not have the opportunity.  I just wanted a break.

If you are a faithful reader there is no reason to worry.  After all:

  • It was a holiday weekend.
  • There is plenty of great content to go back and read (and horrible stuff to laugh at)
  • You shouldn’t be on your mobile device or desktop reading a blog post on a holiday anyway.

Ok, enough excuses.  In all seriousness I wanted a break because I wanted to make sure I could.  Sometimes the things we love can become so consuming that we forget why we love them.  By taking a break from blogging I realized:

IT’S EASY TO GET LOST IN NUMBERS

A big pressure in blogging is readership. I find myself wondering:

  • How many people are reading?
  • Is my post getting a lot of traffic?
  • Did I get more subscribers?

It’s similar to the numbers pressure in youth ministry.  You care so much about how many people attend you forget If you aren’t careful the same thing can happen in youth ministry.  You can get so consumed in the metrics and numbers that you forget it’s about forming disciples. 

While numbers are important refocus on the relationship.  Take a coworker out for lunch.  Make the next volunteer meeting about team building.  Spend time greeting teens at the door.  Go deeper relationally.   

IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT DOING

I was so focused on getting a blog post out, I started to run out of content.  If you are constantly doing you might forget about learning.  As a youth minister it’s important to spend time planning programs and organizing events.  However, if that’s all you do you will limit yourself.

Take time to learn by attending conferences, reading books on leadership or taking in the usual TED talk.  If you have to schedule it in and make it a priority.  If you look to grow, you’ll be able to go further.

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

I felt a little vulnerable at first.  Then I felt a little sad.  I missed not publishing a blog post.  I was so caught in the grind that I forgot why I enjoyed it.  Youth ministry is a grind. If you never give yourself rest, margin or a sabbath you’ll build resentment instead of strength.

Be intentional about taking your breaks.  If you are reacting to a situation by taking time off it might be too late.  When you are on the aggressive you can be more constructive with your new found free time.  This will help you go back into the trenches refueled and refreshed.

What have you learned from breaking routine? (Doesn’t matter if it’s ministry or something else.)