You do not have to be a youth worker very long before you’ll face some sort of adversity. The adversity can come from a direct report, a parent, a volunteer and it can even come from students. There are some places adversity comes from that hurts more than others and is harder I have Two Truth’s I remind myself about adversity, you WILL have adversity and you WILL have to handle it well.
Here are some suggestions as to how we as youth workers can handle moments of adversity directly related to ministry:
Do not react based on emotions:
When we are caught off guard, blindsided or wounded our reactions to people can be hostile, defensive and even full of non-graced filled moments. We do not have to be bullied and we don’t have to roll over, but we do need to be cautious with our response. Like it or not we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of how we react. How we react always has a ripple effect to a larger audience and taking time to process how we should react may radical affect our ministry voice to a larger audience.
Be careful of the voices we listen to;
The voices that bring adversity to us are only one type of voice. Bring people into our life and ministry settings that can be honest & non-biased. Let them speak into the situation or circumstances we are facing and give us some broader perspective. The voice that is coming to us may be coming from a place of frustration, insecurity or even fear but they aren’t necessarily a reflection of what should be happening.
Our Pace of Life is important;
When we are trying to save the world, and let’s be honest we all get suckered into a place of trying to accomplish everything, we get busy and our priorities get out of line. We need to take a step back & take a breath. We need to breathe in the truth that God is still God and we are not. We need to take in a breath to remind ourselves that business does not equate health. We need to take in a breath and take in a breath often. Taking on adversity when we are stressed and overwhelmed is not a good recipe.
Jesus values us, even if we are in the wrong;
When the adversity we face is because of a mistake we have made it is hard to work through. But even in our own leadership or sinful mistakes Jesus has love and grace ready for us. We can learn, we can grow and we can continue to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Adversity will impact us at many points in a ministry year. My prayer is that you have the ability with key people around you to help you walk through it and remain healthy.