Tomorrow night our high school program kicks off. I’m excited with a little touch of stress. While I cannot wait to see all the high school students again, there is still so much to get done. In the past I would have been stressed out of my mind; however, after 9 years of youth ministry I’ve gotten accustomed to overcoming the stress.
Youth ministry is stressful because it’s messy. You are dealing with teenagers from all walks of life. You are working with their parents, putting together opportunities and environments that will help their children grow. Stress will come when deadlines approach, when something doesn’t go according to plan and you feel like you have to tackle it all on your own. To overcome the stress you need to:
- Accept Imperfection: It’s easy to stress over the details; however, it will do you no good. Youth ministry is messy because you are dealing with life. Accept that your ministry will have hiccups and imperfections. Instead of striving for perfection strive for excellence. Excellence means you are all striving to do your best and always learning to grow.
- Trust In Those Around You: Stress can pile up when you feel like you are tackling ministry on your own. Trust that your team is in the right place and trust that God is there by your side. To build trust focus on communicating your fears, anxieties and emotions. It will not only allow people to help you more effectively, it will open you up to being helped.
- Build In Margin: With no margin there is no room for error. When you feel like there is not enough time or resources it’s easy to panic. Create a schedule, to-do list and account of your resources. By tracking what you do and what you have you’ll be better prepared when the pace picks up.
Remember your moments of stress and record them. As you grow in this ministry you’ll see that many of the stresses you face are similar. You will be able to build trust and margin where it is needed by keeping record of what you are facing and feeling. Youth ministry is messy, stress is natural; however, you can overcome it. Remember that God is always by your side.
How do you overcome stress?