As a kid I remember the excitement of going door to door on Halloween yelling, “Trick or Treat“. Each time I got candy. I never had to trick someone. And, honestly I didn’t want to. I didn’t have time for tricks.
As a youth minister I still don’t have time for tricks. But, I often find myself believing the lies and pressures that come with youth ministry. In fact all youth ministers face the same pressures. While each of them are unique if you fall for them it’ll put your ministry in danger.
Four tricks that take away the sweetness of youth ministry are:
One of the most frequent questions my coworkers and I get asked is, “What do I do if my pastor is not on board?” At the same time I know our pastor has received a similar question, “What do I do if my staff is not on board?” The answer is simple:
Again, it’s simple, but not necessarily easy. Nonetheless staff unity is a problem way to important to ignore. If you do not have staff unity you not only limit the growth of your ministry, but put in jeopardy the health of your church. So, what can one person do?
I used to cringe at the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It makes like life sound like a popularity contest. Almost as if relationships were more important than knowledge. The truth is I didn’t understand it’s impact.
Who you know will not only determine how long you will last, but how far you will go. Ministry is very relational. Who you know will help you build trust with parents. It will help you reach out to more teens.
Who you know goes beyond the parents, the teens and even your volunteers. It extends all the way to:
It was my first time in Acadia National Park. I had been taken in by the scene a little too long. With no idea what path to take I finally found blue markers. I focused on the path and made my way back to family. In the end I was only five minutes late.
As leaders we are going to find ourselves out of our elements sometimes. My situation was not life and death; however, it did give me time to reflect on 3 leadership principles. Basically as a leader:
At the end of a long day I just need to unwind. My job is filled with many rewards; however, there can be times I just want to mail it in. One of the ways I release the tension is through music (Especially with songs like Hold On by The Gospel Whiskey Runners). It’s one of the small things I do to help me last in youth ministry.
Youth ministry is like a marathon. It’s a journey filled with challenges and moments when you ask, “Why am I still doing this?” It can be brutal because of the emotional and spiritual battles that take place. While youth ministry is grueling it’s still rewarding.
To stick around and witness those rewards you need to know how to last in youth ministry. That means doing a few small things and not neglecting the essentials. To last in youth ministry you need to: