Being in youth ministry, I've had the privilege of learning a lot. And, I can honestly say out of all the things I've learned, there are some lessons that I feel will never cease to teach me.
When I started this list, I easily thought this could be a 10,000-word post, but no one would read a post that long. So, here are a few of the things I've learned that I think are valuable. I believe allowing God to grow me in these areas has made me a better youth worker.
Here are six lessons that I've learned. I believe others could learn from them as well:
1. Be flexible. Majority of our day-to-day tasks in youth ministry are very random. It isn't uncommon for my day to go from a brainstorming meeting, to a counseling session and then a hospital visit. Flexibility is one of the main ingredients to longevity in youth ministry, and it actually relieves the stress of ministry. Those who are a step-by-step, can't-miss-a-beat type of person usually don't last long in youth ministry. So be flexible.
2. Go the extra mile. Make things the best that they can be. Consider the task you are assigned as the bottom floor. When given a task or project, look for ways to save time and money. Sometimes that means making sure you don't have to make another trip somewhere or completing the whole task instead of just the part you where assigned.
3. Attitude is everything. It is super easy to get caught up in the craziness of ministry especially when you are seeing the less attractive side of ministry for the first time. It's important that you keep an attitude of thankfulness. This will require you to look past the craziness of seeing the not-so-attractive side of ministry, and focus on the life change that's taking place. Also, now that you are on the other side, you need to be aware of an attitude of pride and arrogance. It's impossible to know and learn everything there is to know about the ministry during your time there. Keep a learners attitude of humility.
4. It's not about you; it's about the students. This has everything to do with leading from a place of comfort. Serving students from a place of comfort ensures the inclusion of a few and exclusion of many. This is because you will most likely pour into, hang with, and allow to lead the students with whom you connect best. The ministry will be all about you, and most likely you will end up with a ministry where everyone looks out for themselves, if it's modeled in the leadership.
5. You are a leader first. Remember you are a leader first, and the authority you have to speak into their lives is only as strong as your leadership. Your friendship with students is important, but your role as a leader is more important.
6. Time with Jesus is imperative. Just because you work in ministry doesn't mean you are automatically being ministered to. You need to be just as active in the local church as the members. You should be serving in some capacity, attending Bible study or small group, etc. It is critical that you are spiritually filled. Your time with Jesus will be something you will have to protect.
It is so important that you continue to stay open to a lifetime of learning and growing in ministry. I think ministering in a way that pleases God takes a complete entire life span. So, keep learning and growing.
Hope this helps.
Aaron Crumbey oversees pastoral care for the high-school ministry at Saddleback Church. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ.
For the original article, visit simplyyouthministry.com.
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