Angela Terry, YM360’s Director of Events, wears many hats. In addition to the heavy lifting she does at YM360 making sure all of our events happen – from GENERATE Camp to tradeshows – she is also a mother and a wife. But more importantly for the purpose of this article, Angela is very active in her church’s college and young adult ministries. Angela’s husband, Madison, is the Minister of College and Young Adults at Gardendale First Baptist Church outside of Birmingham, AL. When taken all together, it’s quite the workload that Angela manages.
Andy Blanks, Co-Founder and Publisher for YM360, recently sat down with Angela and asked her how, in the midst of so much commitment, she and her husband managed to avoid burnout.
Angela answered with three practical tips that can instantly be implemented by youth workers.
First, it’s VITAL not to neglect focused time spent alone with God.
While it may sound like a predictable response, if you’re not spending quality time with God, it’s almost inevitable that you will burn out at some point. This is time completely separated from message or lesson prep; this is time spent refreshing with God. It’s a vital lifeline to making sure you’re not burning out.
Second, consider taking a sabbath month.
What’s a sabbath month? And why should you take one? For many youth workers, December is a month of the year where things slow down a bit. It doesn’t mean you get to truly pull back from all responsibilities, but it does mean that your calendar is lighter. If we’re not intentional, the decreased demand on our time won’t result in meaningful rest and recharging. But if we make the most of a slower month, we can find that it helps us recharge.
Third, see your spouse as a team-member in ministry.
For those youth workers who are married, the relationship we have with our spouse is often stressed by our busy ministry calendars. If we see our spouses as our ministry team-members, we can oftentimes “burnout proof” your marriage. Having a spouse’s support and “all in” commitment is huge if we’re going to manage the stress of ministry in a healthy way.
Burnout sidelines too many youth workers. By following these three tips, you can intentionally avoid the effects of burnout, putting yourself in the position to be more effectively used by God for ministry.