Last week I was in the midwest for a speaking engagement. Afterwards I met up with a friend who lived nearby for a cup of coffee. As we were placing our orders the barista just started engaging in conversation with us. Not really a problem with the exception that there was a line behind us. But, what surprised me was how patient everyone was.
I was almost embarrassed that this barista was slowing down the line. My friend and I talked about it and he said, “That’s just the culture around here.”
It’s amazing how impatient we can be as youth ministers. We instantly want:
It can be a struggle to get your ministry noticed by the rest of the church. As a youth minister you know teens can contribute and have an impact. The challenge is getting other people to see it too.
If your youth ministry isn’t noticed it can feel like an afterthought. So, how does a ministry rise to the surface? How do you start getting others to invest and advocate for you? It begins by:
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:
A part of youth ministry is disappointment. Volunteers will quit when you are already short staffed. Teenager who are growing in faith will hit stumbling blocks. You’ll have parents no show after you’ve spent hours putting together a workshop for their benefit.
While you are allowed to be disappointed and angry, you also need realistic expectations. The goal in youth ministry is to CHALLENGE and ENCOURAGE. The problem is when we set people up to fail and discourage them instead.
To communicate and set realistic expectations you need to: