I was talking to a friend the other day about youth ministry and she shared something profound with me. It is a recipe for youth ministry disaster! Let me explain:
Called to Youth Ministry + Job is Never Done = Passion-filled Burnout
THIS: Called to Youth Ministry
This is where our passion comes from – a moment in time where we know that God called us to work with students. For some it is a sudden “light from Heaven” sort of moment, for others a calling that is revealed over time and serving in ministry. No matter how you were called, deep inside your heart you find fulfillment, identity and passion in youth work. You think about it all the time. You continually think of how to make things better. Your heart is filled with passion for your ministry and compassion for your students. This is good, this is healthy, this is incredible.
PLUS THIS: Job is Never Done
I never go home at night and think, “yeah, finished everything!” I don’t get to be done like a barista who finishes an order or a contractor who finishes the remodel. Our job is never done! You don’t have to be in youth ministry very long to realize that late nights, emergencies and expectations of the whole church are part of the deal. But with a never ending job comes the temptation to cheat on margin, take less time away and never turn it off.
EQUALS THIS: Passion-filled Burnout
You swirl these two things together, your LOVE for youth ministry and the INFINITE workload and it clearly has the potential to be a recipe for disaster! Without the right boundaries, this passion for youth ministry and the infinite amount of work left to do can lead to a bad place.
I don’t have all of the answers to this, but I think this is part of the reason many youth workers head straight to burnout. Leave a comment if you want and I’ll be back later in the next week with more on the subject!