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:
My confidence was shot. My first run, after passing out in the marathon, was a scary experience. I didn’t know whether or not to believe the doctors when they said that I would be fine. I felt awkward and anxious with each step.
It took several weeks to build back my confidence. I was told my situation was caused by dehydration, but in my mind I thought it was much worse. To build back confidence I literally had to take each run one step at a time.
In youth ministry you are going to face situations where your confidence is tested. You might deal with:
As I go through the process of writing a book I find myself reminiscing an array of moments. Many of them are filled with joy and then some filled with pain. It’s especially during those first few years where I faced some of my toughest moments.
One thing that helped me get through the early years was the advice and wisdom from veteran youth ministers. It was through their love and care that I was able to grow into the leader I am today. It was with their loving guidance that they showed me to:
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.