How can I grow spiritually when I am exhausted?
The first time I met Sam, he was a brand new youth leader trying to figure out how to lead a youth ministry - in the middle of the pandemic. He had been asked to create three different ways pandemic-isolated young people could connect without being in-person.
How can I set healthy boundaries in my ministry?
Carla answered the phone, knowing who was on the other end. “Hello,” she said, exhaustedly. “Are you busy?” came the question of the same youth who had called at 11:30 p.m. the night before. Carla always answered their phone calls and texts because she knew how much trauma her young people endured, and felt like they really needed her.
How do I navigate burnout?
Some time ago, I found myself in tears during what should have been a routine meeting. Over the previous six months, I had felt increasingly underwater. Increased work responsibilities, parenting transitions, ministry upheaval, and vocational disappointment had worn me thin.
How can I help young people feel they belong in the church?
As a part of our current sermon series on the Psalms, church members are sharing songs that are meaningful to them. As a way to invite teenagers into this, I focused on the Psalms at youth group and invited them to create their own playlist of meaningful songs.
How do I help youth use their gifts in the larger church community?
As a teen, my youth minister might have described me as “passionate” and “driven.” In hindsight, I would say I was “pushy” and “stubborn”! Regardless of descriptors, she saw in me a love for Jesus Christ and a desire to be involved in the church.
How can I prioritize justice and serving others?
Justice can be difficult because there are times we are slow to act because the problem feels distant from us. One reason why teens shy away from service is that the needs in our world can feel overwhelming when viewed through the foggy lens of our own challenges and limitations.
How do I help other leaders prioritize youth discipleship?
As crucial as youth leaders are in a church or faith community’s discipleship, it’s so much better when the entire church is committed to young people. That happens best when senior leaders are actively encouraging and prioritizing youth discipleship both publicly and privately.