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:
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:
You are going to have days, weekends and even weeks that drain you. Positive or negative it doesn’t matter you need to recover. The temptation might be to grind it out. Or you might feel like hibernating. But to truly recover after a long weekend you need to make sure you:
I’m a moron. For some reason I allowed an already full plate to get out of control. This week I scheduled a book deadline, Confirmation Mass, leadership retreat, last week of our student program, and an endless list of meetings. I’m managing, but it’s exhausting.
You will have busy seasons and sometimes it’s all out of your control. Then there are times you could have prevented it. Either way the past is the past and it is no longer relevant. You need to empty your overcrowded plate NOW. To get things off your plate so that you don’t crash and burn you need to: