I love youth ministers, because they are my people. I love talking shop and sharing moments. And then there are the times when I need a break. That’s when I go outside my network.
It’s good to network within your industry and it’s good to go beyond it. To network effectively outside your paradigm, isn’t as simple as showing up at someone else’s gathering. It takes knowing who to connect with and what to take out of it.
In my third year of youth ministry I hit a dark period where I felt isolated and alone in ministry. There was a lot of work piling up on my plate and instead of sharing those burdens I took them on my own. I began to resent those around me, which pushed me down a path of loneliness. Finally, I broke down and found myself venting to a few of my volunteers. They stepped up, shared the burden and surrounded me with love. I was free of isolation.
Youth ministry is not meant to be done in isolation; however, it’s so easy for a youth minister to find themselves in the midst of it. You begin to feel like no one cares about you or your ministry. Resentment, anger and frustration grow in your heart and what started out as a love has now become an annoyance. To escape the dangers of isolation you need to make sure you: