10-second Tip: Protect Your Spouse

Jacob Eckeberger
September 22nd, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


“Encourage your spouse to have a life outside of youth ministry because the world doesn’t revolve around you.”


Without clear boundaries, the busyness of ministry can creep into every second of your day. If you’re married, it can monopolize your spouse’s life as well. Here are a few ways to set some clear boundaries that protect your spouse’s time and energy:

Don’t offer a 2-for-1 package deal.

It’s important to communicate with your church’s leadership that while your spouse supports your call to serve in youth ministry, that doesn’t mean your spouse will commit the same amount of time as you. Even if your spouse loves every aspect of youth ministry, they should have the freedom to set their own availability just like any other volunteer in your church. But this has to be clearly communicated to your church’s leadership so that there are no assumptions otherwise.

Save time in your schedule for your spouse to use however they need to.  

Every week, create time in your schedule for your spouse to be part of a small group where they can connect with other people their own age, to grab coffee with a friend, or even just going to see a movie by themselves. Let your spouse use that time however they need to feed their own soul.

Plan dates in advance.

The only way to make sure you actually go on dates—and not just say you’ll go on a date—is to plan them in advance and save the time on your calendar. A great way to do that is to sit down with your spouse one evening with a bunch of blank index cards and brainstorm together about all the fun date ideas you can think of. If you’re really struggling to think of anything beyond the typical dinner and a movie, here are a few others:

  • Progressive picnic: Appetizers on your front/back porch, dinner in a park with a view, and a dessert on a walk exploring the area.
  • Pinterest challenge: You each choose a Pinterest recipe to make and see which tastes better.
  • Karaoke dare: Find a local place hosting Karaoke and you each have to pick a song for the other to perform.
  • $5 movie and homemade fancy popcorn: Explore the $5 movie bin at Walmart and then pick up some ingredients to make fancy popcorn.
  • Free trial classes: Take advantage of free trial martial arts, exercise, cooking, or art classes that are offered in your community.
  • Thrift store finds: Pick up a puzzle or a game from a thrift store that you can play right away.

While you’re thinking of date ideas, write a different idea on each index card and then stash them in a large envelope. Then when your date night comes, just randomly pick one out of the envelope and have fun!

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.