A youth minister’s schedule can be hard on marriages and families. There a million youth events and many youth pastors are expected to be involved in everyday church happenings. Youth workers can easily find themselves far too busy and with spouses and children desperate for time and attention.
As with anything else, there’s no magic fix or specific formula for working out a healthy youth ministry schedule. But here are some general ideas to keep in mind as you schedule your next calendar year.
Keep your spouse in the loop on your schedule and value their opinion.
The quality of your marriage is important and keeping that relationship a priority as you schedule programs will make your spouse feel like they don’t always take second place to the needs of the youth group. When planning your calendar, include your spouse in the conversation. There will always be non-negotiables in church schedules, but many things can be flexible as well. It’s important to take time to listen to your significant other if they feel things are too crowded or if they’d prefer a different date for an event or program. When your spouse feels listened to and they see you accommodate their wishes when possible, it strengthens your relationship and prevents resentment from festering.
Keep an open dialogue with your supervisor or senior pastor.
Having the support of those in authority over you is key to balancing work and family. Consult them when conflicts arise. Discuss when your presence at church is a necessity and when it’s okay to spend time at home. If those above you have unhealthy expectations, then it might be time to look for a new position. Sacrificing family for the sake of ministry is never healthy.
Listen to your body.
This might not sound as spiritual as we’re all used to, but our bodies are innately wired to let us know when we’re doing too much. If you feel constantly tired, disconnected, grumpy, or overly emotional, it might be necessary to cancel something, take an extra day off, or plan a vacation for yourself and your family. Staying in touch with your body is crucial to keeping your personal, relational, and ministry health on track.