1. Love. Don’t let your love and burden for students dry up. It’s the key to the door of their heart. They feel that love and see it is genuine. It also keeps you doing what you do. Even if the students are driving you crazy, love is why you keep coming back. It is what keeps your focus off of you and on them. It’s why you work hard, it’s why you go to ballgames and plays, it’s why you listen to a student talk about their problem after calling at 11:00 at night. It’s not blind love, a love that causes you to entirely lose sight of your personal care or your family’s care, but a love that motivates you and causes you to want to dig deep and see God things happen in the students’ lives. Allow your love for students to be revitalized.
2. Patience. You have to persevere in patience. Patience is needed because the growing from your sowing takes time, more time than we realize. Quick results are generally not the way of the Kingdom. When dealing with teens, the ups and downs of their walk with God often cause youth leaders to become frustrated. Be patient, it’s part of the process. I’m not sure where I heard this, but it fits in youth ministry: We must plant trees under which we will never sit. It takes patience to keep working with the understanding the the results of our sowing will most likely bear it’s greatest fruit when the students are no longer in the youth ministry. That’s a very selfless way to look at it. But it’s also a very true way of looking at it.
3. Your teaching. Don’t ever feel like what you are teaching is not making any dents at all. There will be students that grab hold and live it with few minor bumps. There will be those who reject it all together. There will be those that are up and down, on and off. No matter what mix of students you have, persevere in what you are teaching them. Keep teaching who God is, His will and His ways. Keep teaching what it truly means to live life to the fullest. Keep on sowing the Word in them. You do not need to give them something new or over-the-top exciting every week. Give them what they need.
4. Your personal growth. Often when we feel drained from ministry we get very lazy in our personal drive and what we are doing to spur ourselves on with God. That’s the worst thing that can happen. No matter whether it feels like it’s an up time or down time in the youth ministry, your drive to grow must be consistent. In fact, it’s your time spent pursuing God that will keep energizing you to keep on in ministry. If He instilled the desire in you to work with students in the first place then He is the one that will consistently renew that desire. Keep connecting and allowing God to do what He wants in you. That’s the basis for what He can do through you.
I believe in you and what you are doing. Be renewed today!
Keep in the journey! Kylan
*A shout out to Nathaniel Dame and www.calledtoyouthministry.com for posting an article highlighting my book In The Trenches. Thanks a million for the free PR…