I’m addicted…to Flappy Bird. I’m afraid to delete it because I know I’ll never get it back (Here’s why). Why do I love the game so much? It’s mindless, simple and great at clearing the mind. Despite it’s fun, I still need something to refuel my empty tank.
It’s perfectly normal to feel exhausted after a day of youth ministry. You are invested in relationships, studying Truth and fighting spiritual battles. How you wind down from a challenging job is important. And, while games like Flappy Bird can help ease the burden, it won’t refuel you for the next day.
Youth ministers need healthy habits that are going to refuel the mind, body and soul. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll find yourself struggling and burned out. To refuel yourself for the marathon of youth ministry take time to:
- Challenge The Imagination: Reading a book, drawing a picture, listening to music or even watching a movie are all ways to challenge the imagination. To endure youth ministry you need to be able to dream big because God is going to ask you to do big things. To dream big you need to practice letting the mind reconstruct a scene or moment.
- Care For Your Body: A tired body is inefficient. While youth ministry is not the most physical occupation, the burden and stress will wear you out. Eating right, sleeping well and learning how to expedite energy is key. When you feel good, you are able to focus better.
- Go Outside The Norm: It’s easy to get stuck in the trenches of youth ministry. To get out and gain a greater perspective you need to change up your routine. Take a day off and go on an adventure. Serve for a non-profit, go on a hike and challenge those muscles that sometimes lay dormant. The fresh perspective will remind you of why you love youth ministry.
- Receive What You Give: Every day you are figuring out ways to share the Gospel. When you forget that your faith is more than a job, you are going to feel drained. Take a sabbatical, and make sure you are worshipping in a community. Find people in your church to hold you spiritually accountable. Whatever you do, don’t compromise the relationship you have with God.
There is nothing wrong with doing something mindless; however, don’t expect it to refuel you. Engage in activities that will strengthen you for the day to day challenges. When you know how to refuel an empty tank, there’s no telling how long you will last in youth ministry.
How do you refuel after a long day?