There are days when quitting feels like the only option. Your tank is on empty and you cannot bare to face another disappointing season. While stepping away might seem the easiest, sometimes running on empty is the right thing to do.
Youth ministry is going to be filled with desert periods. Times when you are tested and pushed. Instead of giving up hope you need to endure the difficulty because it’s only temporary. To run on empty you need to:
Early on in youth ministry I had several volunteers, but most of them appeared to be ineffective. It started out as disappointment and then turned into frustration. I started to take back control and do it all myself. I burned out.
We all want volunteers. They are supposed to:
- Help us with our ministry needs
- Extend our capacity
- Share the burden
The problem is that you aren’t giving them what they need to succeed. Your volunteers are more than warm bodies and glorified chaperones. Your volunteers are there to bring your ministry to the next level. And, in order for that to happen they need a:
I’ll be honest. I have youth ministry environment envy. Whenever I walk into another person’t youth space I think, “Man, why can’t I have that?” We share our space with a variety of groups. It’s been working, but I still dream of the day we have our own.
Fortunately you don’t need your own space to have an irresistible environment. Whether you share or are confined to the catacombs of your church your environments can have a positive impact on your ministry. To have the right environment you just need to:
If you are a leader you will feel lonely. That’s because the decisions, responsibilities and the burden fall on you first. The question you need to answer is, “How am I going to deal with the loneliness?”
No one tells you when you get into ministry that there will be periods where it feels like:
It was a difficult time. A year had gone by and the same 6 teens from the student band were the only ones coming every week to our student program. I felt like a failure. I remember sitting down with my pastor, waiting for him to say, “You’re done.” Instead he told me the biggest secret to growing a ministry: