One of the biggest challenges of being in youth ministry a long time is staying thirsty. Often times veteran youth workers can get complacent and familiar with the patterns and cycles of youth ministry. Longevity often times quenches the thirst for innovation and this is one of the cons of staying in a place for a long time.
- You lose a sense of urgency.
- You lose the ability to think differently.
- You lose the wonder of God working and seeing lives changed. What once amazed might still amuse but doesn’t create the same thirst it once did.
So how do you fight through this quenching? Lots of options – here’s what comes to my mind right away:
Celebrate: Celebrate with all your might when God shows up. Get good at throwing parties and never lose the wonder of it all.
Train: Pour into people (or your successor) and help them become great. If you don’t you’re wasting your talents and time.
Fix something that isn’t broken: Pick something you think is really good and make it really great. Small groups going OK? Make them incredible. Youth group in a little bit of a rut? Shake it up!
Start over: Sometimes what you need to stay thirsty is a new challenge. Ask God to move you on, up or out. This one is dangerous, so be warned.
Stay thirsty, my friend.