Every January, many of us make resolutions we don’t keep. This year, try a new approach: youth ministry mantras instead of resolutions. These simple yet profound sayings will encourage, refuel, and focus you. Use them as reminders of what’s most important and least important in youth ministry.
Here are 10 mantras to start off the new year right. Use one at a time. Keep it in front of you and say it throughout the day. Move on to the next one only when you’re ready.
I AM ENOUGH. My students, co-workers, family, and Creator love me for who I am. I don’t have to be funnier, more theological, or more extroverted. Just be me.
EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY. Let go of yesterday’s frustration and mistakes. Move into a new beginning today.
MINISTRY IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. Do things right, not fast. Building trust with students and families takes time. Building a sustainable ministry takes time. Emphasize endurance.
LET IT GO! Take many things into consideration but take few things personally. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.
I CAN’T LISTEN AND TALK AT THE SAME TIME. Use your ears more than your words this year. Listening is a powerful way to encourage teenagers and to love people. Avoid the temptation to talk first and just listen.
STAY IN MY LANE. Being able to do something doesn’t mean you should do something. Let people play their roles while you focus on youth ministry. Changing lanes is a distraction.
I CAN SAY NO, I WILL SAY NO, AND IT WILL BE AWESOME. Just because you wear a lot of hats as a youth worker doesn’t mean you always have to say yes. Your time is valuable, and saying no doesn’t make you inadequate.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
TO YOUR NAME BE THE GLORY. Chris Tomlin’s song “Not to Us” is a great reminder that what we do every day in ministry is bigger than ourselves or the approval of others. It’s all about Jesus.
I’LL ASK FOR HELP WHEN I NEED IT. It’s tough to admit you can’t handle something or could use advice. But seeking help is smart, and you don’t have to wait until you make a mistake or are stumped. Ask for help in the planning stages, making good use of other people’s wisdom.