Right now I’m seeing four big areas for personal spiritual growth. Here’s what I want to go after in the next season of leadership maturity – what I’m calling the 4 temptations of a youth worker:
Margin Out of Whack
Your life is imbalanced on work and you suddenly find yourself not being able to “turn it off” or take a break. You sacrifice everything and everyone for the ministry. You think you work hard – but maybe you’re just not working smart. Maybe there’s a technology that could help you – it doesn’t matter though because you can’t take the time to discover it. Maybe volunteers are part of the answer, but you don’t hand things off because of your insecurities. Don’t take it all on your shoulders! The ministry will be there in the morning. Take an evening off to go after these issues – you are sitting a bad example for your team, not empowering the body of Christ, and ultimately hindering the growth of the ministry.
Little Non-Christian Interaction
One of the temptations of a youth worker is isolation. The Christian bubble is an alluring place were many of us stay a little too long. Who are the people you are in relationship with and how are you pointing them to Christ? Write down the names of people you are praying for and ask yourself this question: Are you spending all day every day with Christians?
Not Making Tithing a Priority
One of the most surprising temptations might be not tithing or are at best giving sporadically. Many might even be quick to dismiss this one – hey, youth workers aren’t typically paid very well in the first place, right? But I wonder what God would do in me if I was more giving. I wonder what God could do with a softer heart.
Lack of an Intentional Spiritual Life
This is the big one – I saved it for last because it’s the one that matters the most. The power of God must be central for a ministry to thrive. You can make a difference in student’s lives without depending on God – but it will leave you empty and exhausted. How much more could God do with us if we would humble ourselves before Him daily? I wonder how far us youth workers are ahead of our students in their spiritual lives – the temptation to be shallow and creating a non-spiritual church environment is an easy trap to fall in to. Don’t let this be the case! Pray and ask God for forgiveness today and commit to spending time with Him and growing. They need leaders who are fully and wholly committed to Him.