Youth ministry can easily become a 24/7 operation. Office hours are filled with planning and organizing. Then there are the meetings and if you throw in being “on call” if a parent or teen needs you life can get crazy quickly. But, that’s not healthy.
A healthy youth ministry has a healthy youth minister. A healthy youth minister is someone who is rested, refreshed and ready to go. To find that rest, peace of mind and build margin you need to learn how to turn it off by:
Balancing a family and professional ministry is difficult. As a youth minister you are constantly missing out on family gatherings, bed time and pivotal moments. The question that haunts your mind is, “Is this worth it?”
Overtime you might get accustomed to the sacrifice, but is your family? It’s a scary questions but one that needs to be addressed. While there is a variety of sacrifices there are 3 that I’ve learned cannot be over communicated are:
You ever feel like a punching bag? Maybe it’s after a parent has just torn you apart, the pastor isn’t happy with your progress or a teen literally punched you. You want to fight back, but you just don’t know how.
The balance between humility and humiliation can sometimes be blurry. You want to embrace the struggle that comes with church ministry, but the emotional, mental and sometimes physical pain can be too much.
You don’t have to work in ministry long enough to know that there will be some really rough moments. It’s during those moments when you might consider leaving.
But, is it the right decision? Going through that discernment is difficult but necessary. Anytime you feel tired, burned out or jaded you need to process the situation.
After my year of volunteering I needed a job that could pay the bills and keep me from moving back home. That’s when I found a position as a middle school youth minister. My initial thought was, “I can do this for 2 years while I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
Over a decade later I wouldn’t change what I do. I love youth ministry and I love working for the local church. Often I get asked, “How did you afford it considering you have a family?” The truth is that it wasn’t always easy, but it is possible.