How to Prevent Burnout in Youth Ministry: Weariness
I talk to thousands of Youth Pastors throughout the year. One thing that crosses denominations, size of churches, and different parts of the country, is the tiredness and weariness that many Youth Pastors feel in their ministry. Paul is clear in Galatians 6:9 when he says “do not grow weary in doing good.” I believe the problem is not that Youth Pastors are weary from doing good but from other things. So I wanted to encourage you with six things on how not to grow weary in your youth ministry.
1. Don’t grow weary from the golden calf in your church.
You know the tradition that the church has been doing the last million years. We always go camping here. VBS is always this week, so no the youth group can’t do a mission trip that week. The list goes on and on about the traditions that you may face in any given church. I encourage you to work around such things if possible or they will become a distraction to your ministry taking up time and energy that God intended you to use to minister to students. Every battle in the church is not for you to fight.
2. Don’t grow weary of numbers.
It can be exhausting if the only measurement you use to measure your ministry is the numbers of students in your service. It will create an atmosphere of always trying to create a bigger and better experience and of great discouragement when the numbers don’t match your effort.
3. Don’t grow weary from parents.
There are two types of parents that can make any of us weary. One being the absentee parent who has no interest in the children’s spiritual walk, and two, the helicopter parent who wants every detail of their child’s every movement. While I believe Youth Pastors are called to minister to parents we cannot allow them to tire us from ministering to students.
4. Don’t grow weary from committees.
Finance, Personal, Kitchen, Building and Grounds and the list goes on and on regarding committees in the church. The red tape some churches can create can be not only exhausting but also frustrating. Add to that when you get that person on that committee you see their role as one of power. Committee’s and the people on them can quickly rob you of the joy of your ministry if we’re not careful. It’s always better to work with them and move on than to try and work around them or constantly fight that battle.
5. I urge you to not grow weary from the busyness of ministry and neglect your family.
I strongly believe God called you first to be a spouse then a parent before a Youth Pastor. You will quickly find out the neglecting of your family will soon affect your ministry as well as your relationship with Jesus. That meeting, text, or event can sometimes wait if it means time with your family.
6. Don’t let the time and energy in your ministry take the place of your personal time with God.
I find there are a lot of Youth Pastors that spend time in God’s Word only for the next sermon or lesson. We all need personal time with God and His Word for ourselves.
So what is the answer to your weariness?
" Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Stop now and seek Jesus. Ask for peace, wisdom and rest moving forward in your ministry, personal life and most of all in your relationship with Him. There is nothing more refreshing and replenishing than Jesus Himself.
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