Whether you have kids or not, take advantage of the topic this week to think about your family and ministry and how they work together cooperatively—and how they fight each other.
The stages of kids in youth ministry vary…I’m in the thick of it right now:
You are living the dream. You AND your spouse are doing great ministry together. You both have unlimited time and have little or no boundaries on time or energy. These are great years to do youth ministry—soaking up experience and experiences left and right.
Youth ministry remains pretty easy at this stage. You can just throw the little one into a car seat and let them sleep while you’re finishing up a late youth group night or volunteer meeting. Every once in a while you see shades of how this can’t last forever, but largely it isn’t a significant change…yet.
LITTLE ONES (I AM HERE)
This is where I’m living right now—my four kids are all 10 and under and are in our ministry lives 100%. My wife’s role has changed within the day-to-day ministry but that feels right after a little time. My kids are total insiders and get to jump in on some youth group activities and have lots of older friends who are in our youth group. At this stage the number of nights out matter so much, and balancing family and ministry is in its most crucial stage.
This one is just around the corner for me—my goal is to make this a super fun stage having them in our ministry. For the first time in my life I’ll have a teenager—and he’ll be in my youth group! I won’t hide too much from my kids at this point about the realities of ministry, and hope to have very open and honest conversations with them so they see both the good, bad, and ugly of the church. As an added bonus, I would imagine there’s a big credibility gain with parents when you’re in it alongside them, too.
Where does it go from here? Honestly, I’m about to figure it out. I’ve talked to enough youth workers to realize it is possible to raise amazing kids that are healthy, balanced, and grounded while their parents lead a youth ministry. It’s definitely one of my lifetime goals.
Take a minute to think about what stage you’re in, and your future family and youth ministry. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, too!
This post was written by Josh Griffin and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.