Finding Motivation In Slow Seasons

Youth Specialties
April 20th, 2015

There are seasons in ministry, just like in life. Fall brings new students and fresh energy. Christmas is a special time of its own. January can bring new volunteers and a chance to train your leaders. Summer is casual, relational, and typically involves camp. But spring, oh spring. Endless small groups, no rest—even students are dying for school to finish and that mentality usually carries into their dedication within the ministry.

How are we supposed to stay motivated while in a slump season?

It begins by remembering how God is constantly transforming students’ lives. He is moving, shaping, and influencing the world around us through our students. To motivate my team this season, I find the powerful stories of God’s impact and tell them to my team in a way that inspires.

Find the right stories.

A key indicator in a great story is the ability to pinpoint to transformative work that God is doing in a student’s life. These can look like a recent discovery of purpose and how that aligns with God’s kingdom, a redemptive story of forgiveness between a student and their friend (or even a parent), or one of a student’s faithful grip on God during a time of crisis.

Find the right audience.

Seek out people who need to hear of the powerful works God is doing in your ministry. These can be other volunteers, parents, your senior pastor, or even your youth ministry if the student is willing.

Tell the story in a way that inspires.

Stories can lose impact if told without emotive words, confused with unnecessary details, or if the story isn’t actually about God at all. Ask yourself, what amazes me about God in this story? If you aren’t inspired, no one else will be either.

While the spring can be a challenging season, motivate your team by constantly reminding people that God is on the move in your midst. Find words to convey God’s transformative power in the everyday lives of your students. And when you share those stories, you just might find that even you are more motivated in a difficult season than you once thought.

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JARED KIRKWOOD has been in full-time youth ministry for 10 years and is the high school pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA. He holds a Master’s of the Arts in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary, teaches about leadership wherever he can, and oversees the program development of the Mariners Church Leadership Pipeline.

Youth Specialties

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