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27 May 2024

Navigating Youth Ministry with Your Own Kids

By |2024-05-27T06:04:00-07:00May 27th, 2024|Parents, Youth Pastor Life|0 Comments

There’s a post that’s getting some great attention in the incredible community at the Download Youth Ministry Facebook Group. And it rang true with me, having two of my kids come through the middle school ministry while I was the youth pastor there.

How do you minister to your own kids when they come into youth group?

I’ve collected invaluable advice from seasoned youth pastors who chimed in with answers. Here’s a compilation of their wisdom on how to effectively minister to your own children when they join your youth ministry. And, if I can add anything, give yourself grace! You’re new at this (probably) and just like any thing you’re doing for the first time, don’t expect to nail it right away. Give both you and your now YOUTH GROUP STUDENT a chance to learn and grow together.

Maintain the Element of Surprise

One insightful piece of advice comes from a youth pastor whose own children were part of their ministry. They emphasized the importance of keeping upcoming youth events a surprise for your kids, just like for the other students. This approach ensures that your children experience the same excitement and anticipation as their peers. Additionally, although they might naturally end up helping with setup and cleanup, try to limit their involvement to when it’s absolutely necessary. This helps them enjoy the youth experience more fully without feeling like unpaid staff.

Balance Involvement and Independence

Navigating your children’s involvement in youth activities requires a delicate balance. Make sure they understand that certain norms, like seating arrangements, apply to everyone equally, and rotate seating to avoid any sense of favoritism. It’s crucial to engage them in discussions and activities without making them feel singled out. This involves calling on them for answers in group discussions without putting them on the spot, striking a balance between inclusion and pressure.

Prioritize Family Time

Youth ministry can be all-consuming, but it’s vital to remember that your children’s lives don’t revolve around it the way yours does. Dedicate at least one Saturday a month to family time, completely unrelated to ministry activities. This time is crucial for maintaining a strong, personal connection with your children outside the church context. Furthermore, when faced with scheduling conflicts between youth ministry and your children’s events, open and honest communication is key. Plan and discuss these situations in advance to manage expectations and foster understanding.

Respect Their Space and Autonomy

As one pastor who recently saw their children graduate from their youth ministry advised, it’s important to give your kids space. Avoid using them as sermon illustrations and let them initiate interactions. Recognize that they spend more time at church than other kids, so occasionally offering them special opportunities can be a positive way to acknowledge their extra commitment.

Involve and Empower Your Leaders

Bringing your youth ministry leaders into the conversation about your children’s involvement can be incredibly beneficial. Encourage leaders to take your kids under their wing, allowing them to experience the youth group as any other member would. This also means letting other leaders handle disciplinary issues and provide pastoral care, so your child doesn’t always see you as both parent and pastor. This approach can help your children feel more integrated and less singled out.

Maintain Clear Boundaries

Lastly, advice from Katie Edwards highlights the importance of treating your children like any other youth group member. Avoid placing additional expectations on them simply because they are your kids. Allow them to build their own relationships with small group leaders and respect their privacy. Each of your children may want different levels of interaction with you during youth activities, and it’s important to honor their preferences. Sometimes, having a clear conversation about when you are in “youth pastor mode” versus “parent mode” can help set these boundaries. Even allowing your kids to call you by your first name during youth events can lighten the atmosphere and reinforce these distinctions.

These insights from the Download Youth Ministry Facebook Group have been incredibly helpful in my journey as both a parent and a youth pastor. This community is a fantastic resource for anyone involved in youth ministry, offering support, advice, and a wealth of shared experiences. Remember, while the journey may be challenging, it’s also one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry. Blessings on your path as you navigate these unique dynamics in your own youth group!

8 Apr 2024

What do the solar eclipse and youth ministry have in common?

By |2024-04-08T06:33:30-07:00April 8th, 2024|Youth Pastor Life|12 Comments

I asked AI what youth ministry and the solar eclipse share in common. This is what it told me!

  1. “Blinded by the Light”: In both youth ministry and during a solar eclipse, there’s a risk of being “blinded by the light.” In youth ministry, it might be a metaphorical blinding by the sheer enthusiasm and energy of the young people you work with, while during a solar eclipse, it’s quite literal – staring directly at the sun during an eclipse can be blinding! So, in both cases, it’s essential to proceed with caution and wear appropriate eye protection!
  2. “The Eclipse of Coolness”: Just as the moon temporarily blocks out the sun during an eclipse, sometimes in youth ministry, there’s a momentary “eclipse of coolness” when the adult leaders try to relate to the latest trends or slang used by the students. It might result in awkward moments and confused looks, similar to the temporary darkness during an eclipse.
  3. “Sermons vs. Solar Phenomena”: One funny comparison could involve the attention span of the audience. In youth ministry, keeping the attention of teenagers during a sermon can sometimes feel like trying to hold their focus during a solar eclipse – challenging! You might find yourself competing with distractions, whether it’s smartphones or the allure of the great outdoors, much like the sun competes with clouds during an eclipse.
  4. “The Bright Side of Confusion”: During both youth ministry events and solar eclipses, there’s often some confusion. Whether it’s trying to coordinate schedules for youth group activities or figuring out the best viewing spot for an eclipse, things don’t always go as planned. But hey, sometimes the best memories and laughter come from those moments of chaos and confusion!

Looking at my 16 years of youth ministry experience, I think the robots nailed it.

What do you think?

Stay safe out there, and don’t look directly into the sun!

Need a game to play with your students that deals with the eclipse? Check this one out!

1 Apr 2024

Post Easter Recovery Guide

By |2024-04-01T04:25:16-07:00April 1st, 2024|Youth Pastor Life|6 Comments

Happy Easter Monday! I pray you had a great time celebrated the resurrected Jesus. That’s what youth ministry is all about! But let’s be real, you’re probably exhausted. Your church may have had a few more services than normal, a few more responsibilities got put on your plate, and you may have been asked to be Jesus in the Easter pageant because you’re the only one on staff who can grow a beard.

So, how do you recover from a really busy and hectic Easter season?

You can do a few things TODAY to help you reset, recharge, and avoid burnout.

Go Home!

No seriously. Get out of the office. Go home. You may have worked more than many hours at the office this last week. And if you attended a lot more services than normal, you have banked more than enough for a personal day. Take it. You’ll never be totally ready for a day off and never “get that time back”, so go home. Right now.

Turn Off Your Phone

Don’t just put it on “do not disturb,” but turn it off for an hour—just one hour free of notifications, dings, and emergencies. Take that time to pray, listen to music, read scripture, and reconnect with God. We use most of Easter to encourage and teach others. It’s possible we didn’t quite take anything in ourselves, so use this chance to reconnect.

Touch Grass

Easter services are a blast. We get to celebrate the Risen Savior and rejoice! We also probably did a lot of that under fluorescent lights and under the roof of our buildings. So get outside. Go for a walk. Maybe even take off your shoes and touch the ground. There’s something about nature that helps me reconnect with God. Being outside reminds me of how big God is, whether under a canopy of trees or looking at the expanse of the sky.

Reconnect with Students

Recharging can also mean reconnecting with people! Easter may have meant seeing some students you haven’t connected with in a while. After you turn your phone back on, send three texts just to say you were glad to see these students around! Let them know how much seeing them made you smile.

Ok! Now, you might be ready to dive back into the race and work of student ministry. Just remember to take moments to pause and see who God is. Let’s not miss Easter because we were so busy showing Easter to others.

Blessings to you all!

Are you feeling a little burnt out and not sure what to do next for youth group after a crazy busy season? Consider giving Coleader a look! Lessons planned, games already chosen, songs selected. It’s a ton of helpful tools for you, the youth pastor, to get back to ministering to students!

18 Mar 2024

How does a youth pastor Sabbath?

By |2024-03-18T12:32:18-07:00March 18th, 2024|Youth Pastor Life|4 Comments

Youth pastors lead busy lives! We run from event to event and youth program to youth program! We have meetings to attend, volunteers to care for, students we want to check in on, and other duties as assigned that get delegated to us fairly regularly. On top of that, having kids and a spouse can make finding the time for Sabbath almost impossible! So, how does the Youth Pastor Sabbath?

Block out intentional family time

Whether you have young kids or teenagers, it’s important to let them know that they are a priority to you. Spending time together as a family is an important way to observe Sabbath. It can be a meal, a hike, or playing a game together. You give your time to a lot of people. Make sure when you observe Sabbath, you intentionally plan time for your family! That includes your spouse, who will have difficulty finding Sabbath rest since they probably play a larger family role when you work the hardest. Show them they matter to you!

Disconnect from work

Put your phone away. Turn it all the way off. Don’t open your laptop. Flee the county. Do whatever it takes to disconnect from work. It’s tough when work is spiritual, and our rest can sometimes bleed into work. One way we can ensure that we are totally disconnected is by ensuring that the only people who can contact us are the people we are close to. If there’s a real emergency, we’ll find out about it.

Delegate responsibilities

Most youth pastors don’t get to Sabbath on a Sunday. It’s just not going to happen. So, if you are resting during the workweek, ensure your responsibilities are delegated to somebody else. If there’s some type of important information that needs to be disseminated, make sure the church secretary knows all the information that’s going out. If your church is small and you don’t have a dedicated admin, put the robots to work! An automated out-of-office email reply with a link to all the important information or the retreat discount code will save you a lot of time! Schedule posts to happen while you’re out and have a volunteer check in on social media to make sure nothing gets weird.

Find the spiritual practice for you

If you can’t read your Bible without preparing a lesson, maybe you need to try listening to worship music. If you have difficulty praying without thinking about reaching out to a student, maybe you should go on a hike without your phone. It’s tough when so much of our job is connected to spiritual practices. Find the practice that helps you reset, connects you to God, and doesn’t accidentally lead you back into work.

Connect with the community

Whether you are single or have a family, use your Sabbath time to connect with people who invigorate you. Find those life-giving people you can spend time with and plan a coffee or a lunch together. Talk about spiritual things and build one another up. Ministry can be lonely. Find someone with whom you can share life and invite your struggles.

What did I miss? Is there a way that you find to Sabbath that you feel is helpful?

Think you may be on the verge of Burnout? We’ve got a resource for you to check out:

26 Feb 2024

How to Start a Youth Pastor Network in Your Area

By |2024-02-26T09:32:45-08:00February 26th, 2024|Youth Pastor Life|7 Comments

If you’re serving in youth ministry, there’s a chance there are other youth pastors and youth workers in your area. Whether you are full-time, part-time, or a volunteer, there are tons of benefits to networking with other youth workers in your area! The question you might have is, how do you start a youth network if there isn’t one already going? Here are some pretty easy wins:

Take them out for coffee or lunch.

If you have a budget for it with your church, offer to take out a local youth pastor on your dime. Let them know the only thing you want to gain from grabbing coffee or lunch is to get to know them better and actually mean that! There’s a lot to be said for breaking bread with someone and just getting to meet them, exchange phone numbers, and sit across the table; it’s a big deal. Ask them what their wins have been recently. Ask them about their struggles. Pray for them. It’s a huge way to get to know someone, and it’s how we treat students and volunteers, so why not treat other youth pastors the same way?

Start a text thread.

Once you get to know a couple of youth pastors in the area, start connecting them! Introduce each other over text messaging and put them into a group chat. Since you’re all struggling with the same challenges and issues, finding some common ground and sharing a meme every now and then can provide your group with some fun and encouragement for reaching students!

Ask them to teach for you.

It feels like a lot of youth pastors want to be the one who goes and teaches someplace other than their own church. Just check out the DYM Facebook page. But what if you INVITED a fellow youth pastor to come and speak to the students you’re ministering to? That’s a move that will earn you some serious credibility with a local youth pastor. Why? It shows you’re on the same team. It shows you’re comfortable with the church down the street. And it gives your buddy a chance to speak to a different crowd. All great things. And a good way to grow fellowship with one another.

Be their friend.

Just be a friend to the youth pastors in your area. Reach out. Genuinely ask them how they are. Share funny videos. Brainstorm ideas. The start of a great youth ministry network doesn’t have to be an amazing joint youth ministry event with a thousand students. It can be a game night at your place with three other youth pastors who love students AND Settlers of Catan (or whatever your flavor of board game is). And you’ll find that you are mutually encouraged by others when you offer encouragement around as well.

Where do you go from here? Do whatever serves your group! Plan a monthly coffee time where you pray over your ministries and your students. Brainstorm how to tackle the combined biggest issues you are facing. Set up a retreat for a weekend for just youth pastors. The sky is the limit. Well, and your combined budgets, let’s be real.

What did I miss? I’d love to hear it!

Needing an event to rally around as youth workers? We got you!

13 Nov 2023

Network and Build Stronger Youth Ministries

By |2023-11-06T06:48:51-08:00November 13th, 2023|Youth Pastor Life|8 Comments

Ministry can be a solitary journey, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’ll explore the immense value of networking with other youth pastors. Building a community of like-minded individuals can lead to more vibrant and effective youth ministries.

Ministry Can Be Lonely, But It Doesn’t Have to Be

As a youth pastor, you might have experienced the occasional loneliness that comes with the territory. The weight of guiding young souls can be isolating. However, by connecting with fellow youth pastors, you can find a support system that understands the unique challenges and joys of youth ministry. No one should navigate this journey alone, and with a network of colleagues, you won’t have to.

We Get Better Ideas in Community with Others

Youth ministry thrives on creativity and fresh ideas. While you might have a wealth of innovative concepts, imagine how much richer your arsenal of ideas can become when you network with other youth pastors. Sharing experiences and brainstorming together can spark new, exciting approaches to engage and inspire your students. When we pool our collective wisdom, everyone benefits.

Encouragement Comes Best from Those Who Get Us

There’s nothing quite like the encouragement that comes from someone who truly understands your role. Fellow youth pastors can offer a unique perspective and empathetic support. They’ve been there, experienced the challenges, and found ways to overcome them. Their encouragement can be the fuel that keeps your passion for youth ministry burning brightly.

Wins Are Sweeter with Someone to Celebrate With

Every victory, no matter how small, is worth celebrating in youth ministry. Whether it’s a student’s spiritual breakthrough, a successful event, or personal growth in your role, sharing these wins with a network of youth pastors makes them even more meaningful. When you have someone who understands the significance of these moments, the celebration becomes more profound and fulfilling.

In conclusion, networking with other youth pastors is not just about connecting; it’s about creating a web of support, idea-sharing, and shared victories. By building this community, we can alleviate the loneliness, amplify our creativity, draw encouragement from those who understand our journey, and make the sweet moments in youth ministry even sweeter. So, reach out to your fellow youth pastors, connect, and start building stronger youth ministries together.

8 May 2023

Finding Community as a Youth Pastor

By |2023-05-08T07:43:04-07:00May 8th, 2023|Youth Pastor Life|21 Comments

As a youth pastor, you likely spend a lot of time building and investing in your community of students. You pour your heart and soul into teaching, guiding, and supporting them as they navigate their faith and their lives. But in the midst of all this, it’s easy to forget about the importance of finding your own community.

As someone who has dedicated themselves to serving others, it’s essential that you have a group of people who can support and encourage you. This is especially true in the demanding and emotionally taxing role of a youth pastor.

Here are a few reasons why finding your own community is so crucial:

  1. It helps you avoid burnout.

As a youth pastor, it’s all too easy to become consumed by the needs of others. You might find yourself working long hours, neglecting your own needs, and feeling drained and exhausted. When you have a community of your own, however, you can find support and encouragement that helps you avoid burnout.

  1. It helps you stay accountable.

Being a youth pastor is a weighty responsibility, and it’s easy to feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. When you have a community of your own, however, you have people who can hold you accountable and help you stay focused on what matters most. They can offer you guidance and wisdom when you’re feeling lost, and they can help you stay on track with your goals and priorities.

  1. It helps you grow in your faith.

As a youth pastor, you spend a lot of time pouring into others’ spiritual lives. But it’s important that you take time to nurture your own relationship with God as well. When you have a community of your own, you have people who can challenge you, inspire you, and help you grow in your faith.

So how do you go about finding your own community? Here are a few tips:

  1. Look for a group of people who share your values and beliefs.

Whether it’s a group at your church or an online community, look for people who share your commitment to following Jesus. You’ll find that having this shared foundation can help you build deeper connections and find greater support.

  1. Be intentional about making connections.

It’s not enough to simply show up to a group and expect to find community. You have to be intentional about building relationships with others. Take the time to get to know people, ask them about their lives, and share your own story with them.

  1. Be vulnerable.

One of the key ingredients to building deep and meaningful relationships is vulnerability. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles and your doubts with others. When you’re willing to be vulnerable, you’ll find that others are more likely to open up to you as well.

As a youth pastor, finding your own community is essential for your well-being and your growth in faith. Look for a group of people who share your values and beliefs, be intentional about making connections, and be vulnerable. With these ingredients in place, you’ll find that you have the support and encouragement you need to continue pouring into the lives of others with joy and passion.

Ronald

Need to reclaim some time so you CAN find community? You need to check out this training:

1 May 2023

A summertime prayer for youth pastors

By |2023-05-01T08:56:39-07:00May 1st, 2023|Youth Pastor Life|14 Comments

As we approach the summer season, I want to take a moment to encourage you in your ministry. You have been called to shepherd the hearts and minds of young people, and that is no small task. But, with God’s help and your dedication, I am confident that you will make a significant impact on the lives of those you serve.

As you prepare for a summer of activity, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. God is with you every step of the way, and He will give you the strength and wisdom you need to lead your youth group effectively. Take time to pray and seek His guidance as you plan your activities and events.

Remember that your ultimate goal is not just to keep your young people busy, but to help them grow in their faith and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. So, as you plan your activities, keep that in mind. Ask yourself, “How can this event help my students connect with God and each other?”

I know that this summer may bring some challenges, but I also believe that it will be a time of tremendous growth and transformation for your youth group. So, keep pressing forward, even when it feels difficult. Trust in God’s plan for your ministry, and He will use your efforts to bring about His kingdom work.

So let me offer this prayer over you:

Father God, we come before you today with humble hearts, asking for your guidance and wisdom as we begin this summer of activity with our youth groups. We pray that you would bless our efforts and use them for your glory. Give us strength and perseverance when we feel weary or discouraged, and fill our hearts with your love and grace. We ask that you would use this summer to bring about transformation in the lives of our young people, and that they would come to know you in a deeper way. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Remember, fellow youth pastors, you are doing important kingdom work, and we are in this together. Let us continue to support and encourage one another as we serve the Lord and His people. May God bless you and your ministry abundantly this summer.

Hey, want to make some more time for yourself and your summer? Check out this free training hosted by DYM! Click the photo to sign up and learn how to reclaim your time and thrive in ministry on May 9th at 10 AM PST!

27 Mar 2023

Who Cares about Self Care?

By |2023-03-27T06:20:41-07:00March 27th, 2023|Youth Pastor Life|4 Comments

At the end of December 2022, I packed up my apartment in Upstate New York and moved myself, my golden retriever, and my three parakeets to Northern Pennsylvania. I went from a ministry position as a youth and worship pastor to a similar position, only as a children’s and youth pastor. Having been at my former church for a few years, I knew the rhythm and heartbeat of the building, the programs, the services, the extra activities we hosted. Now, I more often than not feel like a stranger. I’m still learning names and getting to know the routine of my new church family. I’m still getting used to my new office and the way the front entrance creaks when someone walks through the doors. The house I’m living in doesn’t really feel like home yet. From time to time I’ll still wake up in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn not knowing where I am for the first few moments of consciousness. In the new, different and change of this season, I’ve found myself pretty distracted, leaving little to no energy at the end of the day for healthy habits. Honestly, I’ve found myself overwhelmingly hollowed out as I try to keep up with several jobs and hours of binging tv shows and social media in hopes to recharge just enough for the next day’s work. I hadn’t been in this rhythm long before The Lord gently got my attention and asked, “Mason, is this working?”. And the answer was “Nope. Not at all”.

The point of all this is to encourage you as parents, as youth workers, as pastors, as co-laborers in Christ, to critically think about whatever is hollowing you out in this season and what’s been done to recharge. Things like gym time, healthy eating, reading a  book, playing board games, watching movies all touch on caring for different aspects of our life, but I wonder how different things would be if we include and prioritize our spiritual health in our self-care time. I wonder if the tiredness that’s easily felt, the frustrations we have, the discouragement we receive, the heartache we endure comes from a disconnect of what should be prioritized in our self-care time and what is actually prioritized.

When looking at the example Jesus models, ‘self-care’ looks very different from what most would consider doing now. It looked like tears of frustration and fear in the Garden of Gethsemane. It looked like long periods of fasting and prayer in the desert. It looked like retreating with close friends in the midst of the crazy. It looked like being present with The Father one on one, with no walls or barriers – just sheer vulnerability and transparency, leading to unhindered communion with the Giver of Life. The result? Jesus left those encounters with refreshed purpose, renewed vision, revitalized passion and direction for what the Lord had asked of him.

Hopefully what I’m getting at is starting to poke through a bit; self-care time is really important, especially in seasons where extra stressors are inevitable. The reality of it all is it’s really easy to be distracted from the presence of God instead of by the presence of God. Especially in ministry, it can be really difficult to be present and connected with The Lord. When we’re flustered by all the new or even the ‘same old, same old’, it’s so easy to make unnecessary things priorities in our self-care time. What God has taught me in this time is that the type and time of self-care I seek really does matter. As a follower of Jesus, my self-care time serves a vitally important role in regularly encountering the presence of God. That’s where the waves of life cease, where darkness and evil flee, where my stressors and anxieties can take a time-out, and where the newly hollowed out spaces become hallowed spaces of fragrant faith and rich renewal.

These were really difficult rhythms to get down as I had been used to a different way and perspective for far too long. As a Youth Pastor, I had felt like there was this pressure to have all of these aspects of life down so I could teach those I’ve been entrusted to care for. However, that denied me as a work in progress with The Lord and to not get discouraged too quickly, baby steps were really important in prioritizing my Spiritual Self-Care. I think for everyone those steps look a little different depending where we’re starting from. For myself, it looked like scheduling in on my calendar those times to be with the Lord, times to engage in spiritual disciplines, and times to be just myself. It worked getting me to meetings on time so what the heck, I thought I’d give it a shot. After a few weeks of following my calendar closely, I started craving that time more and more. When things would get a little rocky, my first response was, “Man, I want to just go be with God for a little bit”. This replaced, “Man, I just want to take a nap for a little bit”, and “Man, how many episodes of Ted Lasso did I just watch”!

Maybe you’re starting off at a much more disciplined place than I was and if that’s the case I want to meet you so we can be friends and learn from one another! Maybe a baby step for your own self-care time does look like unplugging and going to a movie, spending time with loved ones, going for a walk, etc… because those aren’t bad things at all! They may actually help see how important it is to take that time for yourself, that you don’t have to feel guilty or shame yourself for unplugging and getting an emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual refresher. Go to the gym and get those gains on! Go to the beach and soak up the sun! Go get a snack and take a nap! Watch your favorite move with your fur-baby on the couch with an unreasonably priced blanked that has no business being that cozy! Whatever it is to get you in a habit of resetting and refreshing! Another baby step; look for Jesus at the gym, on the beach, in your dreams, and in the cuddle time with your fur-baby! He’ll show up and give you the refreshment of an eternity! Be blessed as you seek him in your self-care time!

–   Mason S.

“I’ve been doing youth ministry since 2012 in various capacities. When I got started, i couldn’t get enough and just got plugged in with leaders that invested in me as a young leader and gave me the opportunity to serve. After living and learning through several church and para-church ministry experiences, I wanted to further my education and ended up getting a degree in theological studies and youth ministry. As years go by, the excitement the Lord has given me for the next generation of students and church leaders has not depleted in the slightest. It’s been an honor serving countless amounts of students at camps, churches, and different youth events over the past 11 years and I’m so excited for what’s to come for these upcoming world changers!

Care for the Leader’s Soul: A Prayer Retreat Guide

In a season that has felt like anything but “normal,” full of uncertainty and change, anxiety and grief, Jesus’ invitation to you is the same as it was for His disciples after a full day of ministry: come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. – Mark 6:31 (NIV)

How sweet is His invitation to be in His Presence and receive from Him! This prayer retreat has been prepared with love for you as a minister in this challenging season. You’ll be guided in how to prepare your mind, heart, and environment, what to anticipate, and how to journey into a time of thoughtful reflection, journaling, and prayer as you step away to meet with God.

Click here to check it out!

Renew Your Hope Youth Worker Retreat Day

In order to sustain ministry for the long-haul, youth workers need regular times of rest and spiritual renewal.

Youth workers are often tired, lonely, and struggling to survive their week-to-week responsibilities. This retreat will remind youth workers of their secure hope in Christ, inviting them to move away from fear-based habits and return to hope-based habits.

This guide to a half-day retreat is designed to help you reflect on your hopes and your fears as you do youth ministry. It’s designed to help you intentionally reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It gives you a chance to write a new prayer, offering to God your biggest fears and hopes.

Click here to find out more!

26 Jan 2023

3 Signs You Need to Slow Down

By |2023-01-24T13:41:32-08:00January 26th, 2023|Help Me With..., Parents, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Pastor Life|2 Comments

As youth pastors, we often find ourselves in a whirlwind of activities and events. We’re planning the next sermon, scheduling meetings with volunteers, and running from one event to the next. It can be hard to pause and really take a moment to rest.

But rest is essential for our physical, mental and spiritual health. If we don’t take the time to rest, we won’t be able to give our best to the ministry. With that in mind, here are 3 signs that you need to slow down and rest once in a while:

1. When You Feel Overwhelmed – If you’re constantly feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s a sign that you need to take a break. Feeling overwhelmed could be a sign that you’re taking on too much and need to re-evaluate your priorities. It’s important to take a step back, assess the situation, and find ways to reduce your stress. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure to take time to fill it back up and rest. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

2. When You Feel Disconnected From God – When we’re too busy, it’s easy to become disconnected from God. If you’re feeling distant from God, it’s a sign that you need to slow down and give Him your full attention. Rest is a vital part of our spiritual walk, and it’s important to make time to spend with God. As Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” Taking the time to be still and rest in God’s presence will help us to reconnect with Him.

3. When You Can’t Focus – If you’re having trouble focusing, it’s a sign that you need to take a break. When we’re tired, our minds can’t focus, and we can’t do our best work. Take a break and use that time to pray, read Scripture, and rest in the presence of God. You can also take a walk, journal, or spend time with friends and family. All of these activities can help you to relax, refocus, and gain perspective.

By taking the time to slow down and rest, we can be better equipped to serve our ministry and glorify God. Remember, it’s ok to take a break and rest once in a while. Make sure to honor God by taking time to rest and recharge so that you can serve with a renewed spirit.

Need something to send to parent that sends the same message? We’ve got a great resource for you!

PARENT RESOURCE: 4 Signs You Need to Slow Down

We are all aware that life can be busy. Our calendar is jam-packed each week with work, kids, school, sports, and friends. Our culture moves quickly and keeping up can be so exhausting that it hurts us. This new year, you may need to slow down. Here are 4 signs your fast-paced life is killing you.

How to use:

1. Attach to your next parent newsletter

2. Print and have available at your next parent meeting

3. Create a resource hub in your space for grab and go parent resources

4. Create a monthly “parent equipping” (separate from newsletter) video explaining how to use the tool.

Gold members got this for free this month. Want to get free stuff? Become a Gold Member today!

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