Every year our church hosts the Matter Conference and one thing we encourage is networking. The problem that many people face is not knowing who to network with.
If you network with the right people it will help you. You network with the wrong people it could pull you down. Networking is necessary; but, it’s not always easy. Some of the reasons we don’t network are because:
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:
I had no clue what I was doing. On my first day of youth ministry I remember just sitting at my desk trying to figure out which tasks to tackle first. Eventually I figured it out. But, that was after a lot of mistakes, failure and heart break.
Starting out in youth ministry can be daunting. You are either thrown into a plethora of programs or you need to start from scratch. So many tasks to tackle and many places to start. If you are not careful you can find yourself overcommitted, overworked and headed towards burnout.
If you are just starting out or looking to start over it’s essential to set a solid foundation. That means tackling certain tasks right away. Such as:
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:
Recently I wrote a post for Aaron Helman over at Smarter Youth Ministry regarding lessons that I’ve learned throughout the tenure of my youth ministry career. It got me thinking about the importance of youth ministry mentoring. When I started out my predecessor (He’s still on staff) was able to guide me through the trenches. When it comes to youth ministry having a mentor is so important. It’s a:
- Reminder you aren’t alone.
- Resource to how to grow and succeed.
- Partner to pray with and encourage you in your calling.
If you are new in youth ministry and are desperate for advice, wisdom and support make sure you: