Nurturing Your Own Soul with YS Coaching: YS Idea Lab with Scott Kail

Jacob Eckeberger
May 24th, 2016

Scott Kail has been in youth ministry for 32 years, and he’s one of the YS coaches you can connect with at the National Youth Worker’s Convention. In this YS Idea Lab, Scott shares a few of the ways he’s helped youth workers nurture their own souls.

If you don’t have time to watch the full interview, here are a few key things I gleaned from the conversation:

Keep an encouragement folder.  

Scott shared about how many of his YS Coaching sessions at NYWC were with youth pastors who have gone far too long without being reminded that youth ministry is a gift to their churches. Some were struggling with elder boards or senior pastors who were micromanaging them or being so critical that the youth pastors had forgotten about all the good things they were doing. In times like these, it’s important to have something like an encouragement folder that can remind you of all the incredible work God has done and is doing in your ministry. Any time you come across an example of that type of encouragement, digitally or physically file it in a folder you pull out when you need those kinds of reminders.

Do an occasional spiritual check-up.

Build times into your schedule when you can step away from the busyness of ministry and ask yourself tough questions, such as:

[bctt tweet=”Is your ministry encouraging your spiritual journey or draining it?” username=”ys_scoop”]

These types of questions will help you know when you need to make adjustments that could help you stay in ministry for the long haul. This can also be a way to know if it’s time to transition out of a ministry in order to maintain your spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Take ownership of your ministry.

Scott referenced two ways youth workers can take ownership of their ministries, and I think these also play an important part in nurturing our souls.

  1. Be proactive. If the leadership in your church is constantly questioning what you’re doing, then take the initiative to make an appointment with them instead of waiting to be called in. When you set the appointment, let them know that you’d like to address any of their concerns but that you also want to give them a glimpse at the next six months and catch them up on some successes your ministry has had.
  1. Lead as a professional. You’re a professional in your field, and there are simple ways you can communicate this to parents and church leadership:
    • Return all of your emails and phone calls.
    • Speak to parents differently than you speak to their children.
    • Overcommunicate important details about your ministry to church leadership.
    • Don’t make students responsible for communicating important details to parents.
    • Plan your programming in advance.

If you take the lead in these areas, then you’re being proactive and working toward bettering any rocky relationships you may have with parents or leadership in your church.

Take advantage of YS Coaching beyond NYWC.

Whether it’s online or in person, there are a ton of ways YS Coaching can partner with you and with your church. Brian Aaby is the director of YS Coaching, and he can walk you through all the options to find the right coaching opportunity for you. Reach out to Brian with an email to brian.aaby@youthspecialties.com.

The YS Idea Labs are filmed on location at the National Youth Workers Convention. Check out more YS Idea Labs HERE and 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.