Change is never easy. Even when we yearn for change it can still be difficult. But, how we handle change is important because it impacts our efficiency and productivity.
Youth ministry and change go hand in hand. Each year you’re saying good by to students as they move on. You are welcoming new generations into your program. Your volunteers, the congregation and even the community around you changes. The question is how do you embrace it and still thrive?
You wake up hung over. The problem is that you didn’t go out clubbing or drinking, it was just a regular night of ministry. That’s because ministry will take a toll on you. If not done right it will rob you of rest.
And you need rest. It’s just as important as your prayer life because it will:
You’ve reached your limit. You can no longer endure. As you drive home after another long night you wonder, “Can I keep doing this? The temptation is to say, “No.” But, is it the right answer?
This past week my pastor and I headed to the NCCYM in San Antonio to speak. We were there to share the Rebuilt story and promote my upcoming book Rebuilding Youth Ministry.
During our time there youth ministers shared with us the challenges they faced. It was a little heart breaking because behind each story was the question:
If you are a leader you will feel lonely. That’s because the decisions, responsibilities and the burden fall on you first. The question you need to answer is, “How am I going to deal with the loneliness?”
No one tells you when you get into ministry that there will be periods where it feels like:
Burnout seems to sneak up on you. It starts as irritation or exhaustion and then next thing you know you are hiding under the covers wondering, “Is there any hope of me finding happiness?” The reason most youth ministers find themselves in burnout is because they ignored the warning signs.
The other night I went out for a run. I reached the end the block and then immediately turned around. There was a flash of lightning followed immediately by a thunderous boom. I took this warning sign serious and headed back towards my house.
It’s not always clear exactly what gets us to the point of burnout. And that’s because there is no one point but a series of events. To avoid burnout all together you need to: