Not long ago, I was in a crazy car accident. Now I know any car accident may appear to have craziness included in the definition, but this was the very essence of the word “crazy”!

First of all, the car in front of me shouldn’t have slammed it’s brakes on at the exact second the noise from the construction site distracted me. I just remember turning my gaze back to the front and thinking and possibly even saying out loud, “Oh crap!” before the sound of the front of my van disintegrating reached my ears.

What do you do with that? 30 years of driving without one accident and nobody tells you what you do next. I didn’t even know airbags really stink once they deploy. But, boy , do they! And did you that you partially lose your sense of hearing?!! Nobody told me to expect that either!

It happened so fast. So very, very fast. Life does that, you know. Changes fast.

It’s kind of like what can happen in your youth group. Things can change and change fast! Like a car accident, I don’t know if you can ever really be prepared fully for these kinds of things. An upset parent, your pastor resigns, your best volunteer needs to take a break, or even the death of a teenager in your youth group are all reasons why it is important to acknowledge that things are going to happen.

Are you going through a big change right now? Here are 4 ways to navigate change like a champ:

Pay attention. There are so many distractions out there that get and hold our attention away from what is really important. I have a friend that has a saying that we have adopted in our family. “Focus on what is permanent and not just important.” Important things change, where permanent things will stay the same. What are the permanent aspects of your ministry?

Don’t forget. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed when circumstances change drastically in our lives or in the lives of those around us! We have to remember that God promised us grace for today only. Tomorrow is His and yet we try to figure it all out for Him, don’t we?

Learn from the change. You can bet your sweet bippy that I don’t get within a hundred miles of the nearest bumper anymore! I have learned. And you will learn to. You will learn what works and doesn’t work. You will learn how to comfort and counsel better. You learn how to be a better youth worker. But first you have to be willing to just learn.

Lead through change. You can bet that if you are freaking out about the change your ministry is facing, then the folks you lead are also shaking in their boots. In the midst of chaos there is a desperate need for leadership. God has given you the honor of leading the ministry you serve. I wish you could just lay on the floor and freak out over the change you are facing, but you don’t have that luxury as a leader. Take some time to personally deal with the change, and then it is time to rise and lead those that are depending on you.

Unfortunately for my van, it is no longer with us. Unfortunately for my budget, I have a new car payment. But because of God’s grace, we were all ok. Now I am on my way to get my daughter’s driving permit. Somehow, I’m just not feeling it!

Shellie Hochstetler encourages parents of teenagers daily at and She has survived raising 4 teenagers and in her own words, “they are extremely awesome”. She describes parenting as “terrifying but fulfilling, lonely while extremely loud, and completely exhausting while in the same breathe exhilarating!” Shellie lives in her dream home in Nashville, TN with her husband, kids, a horse, and some chickens.