The fall is quickly coming to an end and you might find yourself reflecting on this wild, new role as youth minister. Questions such as, “Am I doing a good job?” might be circling your brain. This is always a great opportunity to ponder on how you are doing in this new role. Here are some tips in no particular order, to help your assessment:
Routine is critical to life in general, but especially for those new to youth ministry. Do you have set hours that you work? This is essential in the beginning because it will help you to focus on the tasks at hand, and also help you be a good steward of your own time. Have you set time aside for administration, relational ministry, following up, etc.? These types of routines are helpful so that you are proactively doing ministry vs. reacting to whatever comes at you.
One of the biggest struggles I had in the beginning of ministry was thinking 3, 6, and 12 months in advance. I could barely think 2 weeks ahead! The last thing you want is to have an event coming up and find you haven’t advertised for it, or you don’t have the right number of volunteers, etc. Organize yourself so that you are not caught off guard. Whiteboards, online calendar reminders, lists, and the like are very useful in documenting what needs to happen in the weeks and months ahead.
I know that most of us think, ‘duh’ when we see praying as an important thing to do. But I ask you, are you actually doing it? I’m not talking about your own personal prayer time (which you should be doing). I am referring to praying while in the office as you prepare for events, and meeting with parents. It is easy to get into “ministry mode” and think that you just have to produce great content. However, I find that I must pause several times throughout the day to ask God if what I am currently doing is His desire. This type of prayer will help you keep focus on what the Lord is calling you to do.
You are not supposed to do this on your own! Pause. Reread that first sentence. Let it sink in for a minute. This is probably one of the most challenging things to embrace the first few years in ministry. We want to learn the ins and outs of ministry on our own, which is admirable. The problem is that Jesus never asked us to do ministry on our own. The disciples had each other, and companions on their journey. Jesus sent the 70 out two-by-two. Moses himself delegated his authority to capable men to help him govern the Israelites. The lesson here is to find the right people to share the load with. Not just anyone, but capable people who will actually follow through.
Following this advice will keep you in ministry for a long time.