I regularly get letters from youth workers in the hope that I’ll be able to answer it or read it on the podcast. The letter below is an example of one that breaks my heart. I wrote him back and told him that I’d change the details and share it with my readers to see if God’s Spirit would give us a collective wisdom.

After you read it, please chime in if you feel like you have something to offer.

Hey Doug,

I am writing to you, because, well it’s safe. You don’t know me, or my church. I will try to keep this short and concise.

I am struggling in ministry. I feel I should be a wiser leader, and better student minister by now. I am frustrated by obstacles to ministry growth, getting volunteers to value the ministry and step up their commitment. I am evaluating my ministry this summer and have begun to develop a plan to fix some of the things that I believe can be better.

The problem is…I don’t know if I want to fix them. I am burnt out and frustrated. I am beginning to question God, “Why would you bring me here to fail?” I am questioning if this church is where I should be. I have even begun to question if I misread God’s call to ministry! I have felt this way for almost 3 months.

The answer to all the questions you would probably ask me if we were sitting down together is “yes.”

Yes, I have quit spending time with God consistently – I am not spiritually where I should be. I don’t pray, and spend time in the word as much as I should be.

Yes, there is sin in my life–I have given in to a struggle that I thought I had gained victory over. This sin wasn’t in the picture when I started feeling this way, although I am sure it’s a result of my lack of time spent with God.

I know you are probably thinking, “Duh Jordon, get rid of the sin, start spending time with God in prayer and in His Word, and some of this stuff will get better,” but I started feeling unhappy in ministry before the sin and lack of relationship happened.

I wish I had time to write what I am feeling more clearly, and you had the time to read everything. My heart is breaking over how I am feeling, I don’t have anyone other than my wife to talk to about this, and I think I am scaring her.

I don’t know if you have ever been in a place where you felt so stuck and lost, that you begin to question everything you thought you knew, and you find yourself wondering if you even know how to lead and minister anymore, but that is where I am.

Please pray for me,


Okay, now it’s your turn. Leave “Jordon” a comment if you feel like you have some wisdom/insight/help to his situation.