This is a series of Youth Ministry Hacks to help youth workers get more out of their day. Want quick, practical tips to help you strengthen your ministry? This is the place! Here is today’s youth ministry hack:

Never Meet Without Knowing the Reason
Early in my 20 years in youth ministry I would get sick to my stomach when someone asked me for a meeting and didn’t give me the reason. My heart would sink, replaying every previous conversation and analyzing my actions from the past few weeks. My people-pleasing brokenness and guilt complex aside, there’s almost nothing worse than heading into a meeting and not knowing the topic. I saw this ominous text from a parent in a post on the DYM Community on Facebook … my heart cringed for this youth pastor:

Here’s a simple hack to increase your health and longevity in youth ministry: Don’t meet if you don’t know the reason. Ask for the subject, so you can be prepared both in your heart and your mind. Get your ducks in a row! Often times people will be hesitant to give you the reason for the meeting (especially if it involves some confrontation) but you’ll replay things over and over in your mind and usually no matter how bad/difficult the conversation will be, you’re better off prepared. Another related hack may be to never set a meeting too far in advance, when you schedule something for 2 weeks from now it’ll consume you every minute until then. Schedule it soon, move whatever you have to get it out of the way.

Oh, and remember the opposite is also true – when the shoe is on the other foot, make sure you don’t ask for a meeting and not tell someone the reason why, too. It isn’t fair to them and will cause their stomach to tie up in knots, too. You’re a better leader then that!

Share your hack on social media using #YMHacks, too! JG