Those involved in youth ministry know that “busy” takes on a whole new meaning.
It seems as if you are always doing something and have virtually no free time! Then, when you do get free time, you end up having students over or spending an hour on the phone with a parent having issues. I know exactly what it is like, and to be honest during those times it is not uncommon for me to stop and realize that I haven’t spent any personal time with God in days, maybe weeks.
We get so busy trying to get all the youth stuff completed, other church responsibilities done, balance time with our families, and try to have a social life (Just kidding, youth ministry is your social life!) that when it is all said and done, we leave no time for God. And that is where so many youth workers find themselves.
I mean, we are doing ministry, and prepping messages is kind of like a Bible study, so God is still cool with that, right?
Those are the types of excuses I find myself using to justify the fact that I haven’t made time for Him. But God wants more than our ministry efforts. He wants our hearts. We are so good at telling other people how to follow Him daily, and we can teach the why and the how of spending time with God, no problem. Doing it ourselves though can be a challenge, but here is why it is so important: When we minister we should be ministering out of the overflow of our hearts. That means that we need to be filled up if we expect to overflow and do effective ministry. When we are empty ourselves because we are too busy to spend time with God, we don’t have anything to give. While we may try really hard and go through the motions, the fulfillment and fruit will be lacking.
You may be thinking, “well you’re right, I probably do need to focus more on myself, but my ministry is still doing alright.” And hey, it might be doing alright on the surface but what we pour out when we don’t have anything to give is stale and often times smelly because it has been in there so long. We personally need to be in constant relationship with God if we want to have something to give others.
We need to learn to be selfish when it comes to making time to take care of ourselves spiritually so that we can be selfless in the way that we lead others to Christ. Being the leader is an immense amount of pressure, but that is why it is so important that we are following Christ so that leading others to Him is natural.
Everything we do in ministry and in life is ALL about Jesus and you need to make sure you are on track with that.
When things get away from Jesus, and our relationship with Him suffers, everything else will suffer as well. We need to take care of ourselves by prioritizing our life according to what matters most, by being selfishly selfless.
TODD JONES has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of STOKEDONYOUTHMINISTRY.COM, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball, and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd at STOKEDONYOUTHMINSITRY.COM, THETODDJONES.COM, or on Twitter @THETODD_JONES, or Instagram @TODD_JONES.
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.