What To Do When Ministry Knocks You Down

4 Steps To Avoid Feeling Like A Punching Bag

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.If you want to avoid rolling over and take on the battle you need to make sure you:


A leader is a learner.  As a leader of the next generation you need to make sure you are investing in yourself by:

  • Attending conferences and workshops.
  • Listening to podcasts and watching webinars.
  • Reading books on leadership and strategy.

The more competent you become the more confidence you will have to handle each situation.


You work hard to maintain composure but there are going to be times when you need to cut loose.  If you don’t it will blur your ability to process situations clearly.  Avoid bad habits and going on social media with your lamenting.

Find a local network where you can cry, shout, and pray together.  Process your thoughts through exercise, journaling or prayer.  Make sure you release the tension so that it doesn’t put you in a situation you later regret.


Part of the reason you feel beat up is because the noise is non stop.  You need to be able to stop, pause and breathe.  That means creating structure in your life where you can retreat.  A few guardrails to consider are:

  • Avoiding late night email reading.
  • Maintaining regular days off (Not vacation, like an actual weekend).
  • Going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting ample amounts of sleep.

When you have a structure that protects you it will enable you to recover especially after a hard experience.


You need to intentionally surround yourself with people who will empower and encourage you to keep going.  To build an entourage that will keep you strong you need to:

  • Develop a Leadership Team – Find men and women in your ministry that will share the burden of the vision and mission and step up when you need to step back.
  • Find a Network of Like Minded Youth Workers – There are men and women who know your struggle.  Find them and meet with them regularly.
  • Seek Out a Mentor or Coach – A mentor or coach will give you the time and attention you need to handle each and every situation you face.  One of the reasons I started MYM 1-on-1 Coaching is because I know sometimes you need an outside perspective giving you best practices and tools to facing the rough situations.  (To learn more about MYM Coaching click HERE)

Having a team of people to love you reminds you that you aren’t alone.  Youth ministry is a marathon but it’s not meant to be done on your own.

There will be battles, there will be hard days, but what will get you through the hardships is being reminded that you are doing God’s work.  The reason you can do this is because God has called you to do something amazing and that’s change lives.

Question:  What are you doing to overcome the emotional and spiritual battles that occur in youth ministry?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.