As March comes to a close, so does this little series. And because I’ve got a whole bunch of thoughts rattling around in my noggin, I figured I’d wrap up our discussion about how to last in youth ministry by listing a handful of them with a very brief explanation. Then, if one pops out that you’d like to discuss in more depth, we can do so in the comments. Here we go…..
Remember the Power of Nice!
I’m a believer that nice guys/girls finish first….especially over the long haul. It’s tempting to look out for you own interests, be a selfish leader etc. because that behavior often gets rewarded in the short term. But over the long haul, men and women who are liked by their congregation and their supervisors typically have more staying power.
Have a Strong Ministry Work Ethic.
Right or wrong (mostly wrong), youth ministry has a perception of attracting folks who aren’t disciplined and lack a strong work ethic. When I was new to youth ministry I set a goal to, whenever possible, arrive at work 15-minutes earlier than anybody else on staff and stay 15-minutes later. It helped me develop good habits early in my career and also caught the attention of other people on staff who had always assumed the youth team had the poorest work habits.
Remember, Eventually the Squeaky Wheel Gets Replaced.
Toot your own horn, but not too loudly. Remember that nobody else is looking out for the needs of your youth ministry like you are, so you need to squeak now and then. But remember….a wheel that never quits squeaking, even after it’s been greased, will eventually get replaced.
————–Click here for additional thoughts from Kurt to help you stay in youth ministry————-
Pride was the original sin, and it’s still wreaking havoc! Fight the temptation to think more highly of yourself than you should. Punch entitlement in the face. Refuse to compare your salary, budget, level of respect and place on the totem pole with other staff at your church or with ministry friends in other settings.
I’m not a big believer in margin and balance. But I do believe in health! And your ability to have healthy friendships, a healthy marriage, and a healthy mind, body and soul will directly impact your longevity in youth ministry.
Follow Jesus Closely.
Stay close to your Savior. Sit at the feet of your Father. Abide in him and let him abide in you. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him. Let him direct your path.
Want to last in youth ministry? You can!
2 thoughts on “How to Stay in Youth Ministry, Part 3: Random Thoughts”
Thanks so much for this article. I have been in youth ministry for over 23 years. I did get a late start as I am a second career person. Now at almost age 64 I am having more fun, relating better to youth than ever and have more parental support than I ever imagined.
Longevity in youth ministry has nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your relationship first with God, then the youth and their parents. (And a whole lot of support in there from my wife).
Ministry changes over the years, but the one constant is being there for the youth, and their families. If they know you care and you love them they’ll be there, whether you’re 22 and just out of college of 65 and a seasoned veteran.
Love God, love your family, love the kids.
With staying healthy, you wrote, “I’m not a big believer in margin and balance. But I do believe in health!” Can you explain that to me a little bit. I’m curious your thoughts on margin and balance.