Culture | Families | Leadership
Roy Probus

Many of us don’t ever think about doing anything else besides youth ministry. We live and breathe youth ministry. We have the scars to prove it, so it’s hard to ever think about leaving it. Deep down, we all know it can happen. While there are some lifetimers out there, many of us will move beyond youth ministry. How do you handle that situation? Here are some ideas that can help.

Know it can happen.

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. Realize that leaving your ministry is a possibility, and is a huge step, but remember that God called you into youth ministry, He can move you to something else.

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Take a sabbatical.

If you’re lucky enough to have a church that will help you, taking time away from ministry to focus on you will be well worth it. You can use this time to take a refresher course, silent study, focus on family, or whatever will help you to recoup and think about your next step, all while still being paid.

Do another job for a time.

“Thanks for shopping at Wal-mart” are words you never thought you would utter, but that might be the place for you. When you’ve been in the church your whole life, you don’t always recognize how the rest of the world works. This is usually a major step but will give you a different perspective than the church will, and giving you opportunities to minister in other ways.

Leave an opening.

Nothing is permanent but change can be refreshing. When you step away, don’t burn so many bridges that you can never go back. If you leave, leave with grace so that if you need to return for a reference, you can get it.

ALMOST SOLD-OUT! Don’t miss your LAST CHANCE to register for SYMC 2013!

Once I entered full-time ministry, I never thought I would leave, but right now I am in that place of bi-vocation and possibly leaving paid ministry altogether. We don’t always know what God has planned for us, but if we are open to his calling, then we can never go wrong.  We must remember that paid church ministry isn’t the only ministry where God can use us. If we step away and become that model non-paid adult leader, then we can be a huge benefit to another youth pastor and some students.

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