If you are like me you are most likely smack dab in the middle of your busiest time of year! Things are nuts in your ministry or maybe you have just finished that super busy time and are heading into summer. Which, as we all know, is another super busy time for youth workers. For most of us these busy times flow directly into each other and we will be overwhelmed and tired all summer long. That is why it is so important to take some time and start fresh before summer hits.
Of course, that is way easier said than done. Time does not just come to us and is not really that easy for us to just ‘take.’ You may be feeling the need for a break before summer but you don’t feel like you have any time to spare for such a luxury. I totally understand. But that is where we need to make the time because if we don’t sacrifice some time now it will hurt us worse in the long run.
We need to take time to be refreshed and here are a few areas where we need refreshment…
Youth ministry is one of the most emotionally draining occupations in existence. Almost every youth pastor I meet is stressed out and for good reason. There is a ton of pressure resting on our shoulders. This is why it is essential that we make time to refresh emotionally or we risk either a crash, or prolonged sub-par performance.
Take a day or two and do none of the stressful things, seeking only life-giving activities for now.
- Seek out life-giving conversations
- Clear your schedule and responsibilities and chill
- Put down your phone and let ‘work’ stop
- Do something fun that will genuinely make you happy
Pouring, pouring, pouring, we are always pouring into others spiritually and guiding them to read their Bibles, pray, and spend time with God. But when was the last time you were able to do that yourself? I will be honest, not a lot lately. It is so easy to get caught up in the repetition of life and ministry that we slip in our personal walk with God.
Take a day, half day, or three days to simply get away and get with God.
- Read, pray, listen, journal, etc
- Go to a church or worship concert where you are not on staff or running the program and simply worship God wholeheartedly.
- Get away from the hustle and bustle to a place where you can fully focus on and encounter God
Don’t underestimate the physical toll youth ministry takes on you; not just the actual sore arm from throwing a dodgeball, but also the stress that has settled in your shoulders. Maybe it is the lack of moving around because you are always stuck at a desk frantically trying to complete so many things, or maybe it is constantly eating fast food because you are always rushing around but your physical body takes a tremendous beating from youth ministry and you need to make time to refresh it.
Take a day or two to refresh your body.
- Get a massage, sit in a hot tub, sleep in, etc.
- Do a detox or a cleanse
- Exercise in the way that refreshes you
It might sound silly because you honestly don’t have the time to just pamper yourself but I would say you don’t have the time not to. You can’t expect your ministry to be healthy if you are not healthy. We need to be our best and we simply cannot do that without taking the time to be refreshed. Do it!
Todd has been in youth ministry for over 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com