There are those days in youth ministry where it feels like you are running through mud. They are slow, there is no significant progress and the only thing moving is your blood pressure rising from the frustration you feel. I can’t tell you when these days will come, they just seem to emerge and when they do they are awful. So what do you do when ministry is mud?
YOU GRIND IT OUT
That means having a plan that is going to help you move forward, no matter how hard it is to be creative or productive. To develop that plan means:
Setting A Firm Schedule: A framework to your day will make sure you aren’t wearing yourself out. That means start time and stop times. Breaks and times when you just sit back and learn. During the times that you schedule for writing, creating and developing you may notice little fruit; however, having the framework will make sure you aren’t dwelling too long in the frustration they might bring.
Fuel And Rest Up: Just like an athlete when the days get hard you need to make sure your energy level is at it’s highest. That means not staying up later, eating right and taking care of your body. Sometimes the writer’s block that you feel is because you are tired or not feeling well. It’s at these times when it’s important for you to focus on your health and not your productivity.
Become A Learner: You could simply be out of ideas. Taking the time you would usually write and create and devote it to reading, watching podcasts or meeting with other youth workers. Listening to others and reading their thoughts will sometimes kickstart the productivity engine. Just make sure anything that develops you write down.
Spend Time In Prayer: When you are in a void of ideas it’s easy to feel disconnected. The best way to reignite this connection is to talk with God. I find that quiet time in scripture calms me down and takes away the frustration that I may feel when it comes to a writer’s block, lack of ideas or a hard day at work.
Youth ministry is just like any industry where you’ll find moments where you just need to grind it out. Do not stress, just go to a plan that will help you move forward. Stay focused, put your head down and lean in. Remember these seasons are temporary.
What would you add to the plan?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)