I turned 40 a month ago and am settling comfortably into the role as a youth workers with 20 years of experience. At first, I wasn’t looking forward to the arrive of the big 4-0h but honestly the thought of it was much worse than the actually event. Thank goodness!

As I’ve processed a little bit about being in youth ministry at this age, I think I’ve found several things I’m much better at with loads of experience. 

Here are 3 things I’m better at now than ever before:

1) Counseling teenagers
At this point, I’ve seen much of what their is to see and heard much of what there is to hear. Gone are the early days when a students’ confession would confuse or shock me. I’m rarely shocked anymore. And when I am, it is a doozy I promise you! I’m better at not freaking out that a students life is over because of a poor decision. I’ve learned some go to Scriptures to point students toward and some helpful patterns to counsel students to follow Jesus. Most all of that has come with experience, and at this stage of ministry it comes easier than ever before.
2) Developing people
I think early on in youth ministry I loved being the hero, the speaker, the youth pastor. Today I give the title and the tasks of the youth ministry away. I want to be a youth worker factory – keeping people I can here as long as I can but willing to send them out locally, to other campuses or to other churches because they’ve been developed and are ready to lead. I think my leadership radar is more on point than ever before, being able to spot calling and talent before people even see it in themselves. Once again, it comes with experience and is much easier being 4o than it was at 25.
3) I spot trouble more easily
One of the blessings of doing youth ministry this long is spotting trouble. I mean that very literally about people in your ministry who are trouble, but I also mean it in a variety of other ways. I can spot trouble with an event plan before we take it live. I can spot trouble with a parent brewing fairly early on, I can spot trouble with our youth ministry perception earlier than ever before and know instinctively in many cases earlier than ever before. Experience is a good guide to the future, so having made lots of mistakes up to this point it should be much easier than ever before to avoid them.


Hmmm … this post may come off as a little arrogant. So I’ll be back tomorrow with 3 things I’m worse at being this age in youth ministry, too! Ha!