To succeed in youth ministry you need to have a solid vision, a committed team of volunteers and a clear strategy.  Sounds simple and it should be that simple the problem is life doesn’t happen in a vaccum.

We deal with all types of teenagers and parents.  Demands from the pastor will come out of nowhere and the pressures that build up are overwhelming.  Some days it can feel like we’re running on a hampster wheel with the question, “Why am I doing this?”  The problem is that:


There are many reasons why we don’t stop, but two big ones are:

FEAR. We are afraid to fall behind.  We are afraid to lose momentum.  Fear makes us focus on short term consequences and amplifies them to a debilitating size.
PRIDE. Pride lies to us.  It tells us that we have everything figured out and that ONLY we can do it on our own.  Pride prevents us from replacing ourselves.


If left unaddressed they will swallow you alive and burn you out quickly.  To address these obstacles and overcome this struggle you need to:


Start with something simple like turning off the radio in your car or turning off the phone when you get home.  Silence allows you to breathe, think and listen to what God is trying to do through you.  Silence at first can seem awkward at first, but after a while it brings comfort.

Build in silence into your day, whether it’s on your commute, exercise or right before you go to bed.  Invite the Holy Spirit to come in and just bring you the peace of mind that you need.


Part of the reason we can’t stop is because we do not plan for it.  It’s like driving down a street and not seeing someone step out in front of your car.  You attempt to stop and even if you can it’s difficult.  If you see the person in the distance attempting to cross the street it gives you ample time to prepare.

You need to put on your calendar moments to breathe, refocus and stop.  Some of those moments need to be:

  • Vacation
  • Professional Development (i.e. Conference/workshop)
  • Retreat
  • Strategic Planning 

After they make it to your calendar protect them.  Treat them like they are the most important moments of your year.


Sometimes you need someone to speak Truth into your life.  While there are people in your church who want you to succeed sometimes you need a fresh perspective.  A few people you might want to consider are:

  • Professional Coaches
  • Experienced Youth Workers
  • Pastor From A Different Church

Find someone who is going to be able to look at what you do to help you organize and focus.  Give them permission to be real and honest.

When you can stop you can give yourself the margin that every youth minister needs to succeed.  It might be hard at first, but the more margin you can bring yourself the more freedom you will feel down the line.

Why is it difficult for you to stop?