Have you ever felt that your job was like running a marathon through a swamp? No matter how hard you worked, you just feel like you are sinking and bushwhacking through mess after mess? When you turn on the lights of your office in the morning you groan at the piles of paperwork? You ever just want to delete all the messages in your inbox? And you wonder, “How am I going to get anything done with all these meeting?” Yep, that can be youth ministry.
If you feel like you are stuck in circles or never going anywhere in your youth ministry it could be for a variety of reasons. Some are as simple as taking a vacation, while others are something more serious like a conversation with the pastor. But, before you can follow through on the solution you need to understand the problem. To move forward you need to know what’s actually slowing you down. The reason you could feel like you are running through mud is due to a:
- Lack of Organization – Do you have a plan for your week or day? When you walk into your office you need to have a strategy to how you are tackling ministry, otherwise it will be tackling you. Too many times youth ministers are reactionary to what is going on around them, all this creates is chaos. By having a plan (With some flexibility) you can create systems that will keep your inbox empty, your creativity flowing and your ministry healthy.
- Shortage of Accountability – While you want a pace that’s comfortable for you, you need people who are going to push and challenge you through the difficult times. When you face problems solo, the burden will slow you down. You need someone to share your triumphs and trials with. You need a support team that will help you move forward when you can’t do it on your own.
- Drop In Communication – Lousy communication means lousy ministry. If your emails are rants, your messages are ill-prepared and you only say things once, be prepared to find yourself frustrated. When you clearly practice effective communication you begin to learn the power of delegation. You will see how your words impact productivity. You will grow as a leader. Effective communication is one of the keys to mobilizing your ministry into a movement.
- Disconnect In Spiritual Growth – If you don’t have a healthy relationship with God, then what do you really have? This is the easiest place for a youth minister to be hypocritical. You tell your teens to engage in scripture, to tithe, to share the Gospel and go to worship; however, you don’t even do it yourself. You can struggle with those habits; however, if you are not at least engaging in them, you’ll find that you’ve lost your calling.
In order to approach all these areas you need to find the time to address them. That means scheduling an hour or so each week to look at your organization, relationships, communication and spiritual growth. If you aren’t taking the time to analyze these areas, then you will once again find your productivity and effectiveness take a hit.
What else could slow down your ministry?