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6 Reminders For The Frustrated Youth Leader

 —  February 18, 2014 — 4 Comments

9161284I’ve learned that the things that frustrate us the most as youth pastors/youth worker/volunteer are the things we can’t control in the first place. I believe that one of the top reasons we get frustrated is that we forget to remember the things that should keep us grounded in the mission of what we were called to do. So here are 6 we need to remind ourselves of on a regular basis:

  1. God called you to stewardship over the ministry, not ownership. Frustrated over things not going exactly your way. I think the frustration comes because we start to think the ministry belongs to us, and it doesn’t. You need to run, oversee, and manage out of stewardship, not ownership. It makes a big difference.
  2. Reaching the lost is primary, so don’t be apologetic about it. Frustrated over size. Strategize to reach the lost just as aggressively as the devil does to keep them lost. Stop believing the lie that numbers don’t matter, in the since that your job is to preach and serve the students in the four walls of your ministry only. We are commissioned by Jesus Christ to do both. So give both equal attention, and go aggressively after both. Don’t let the disapproval or criticism of those who preach “my four and no more” stop you.
  3. Leave God’s work to him. Frustrated over hearts not being changed. Know where your work ends and His work begins. Click here for more on this subject!
  4. We minister out of who we are. Frustrated over trying to be two different people. You should be the same person in your ministry life, as you are in your personal life. Inconsistency in the two will lead to frustration and eventually the destruction of the two. If you have to work at this then something is not right. I would find some counsel quickly.
  5. You are not bulletproof. Frustrated with temptation. Remember that you have the potential to screw up just as badly as the people you minister to, so you need to be fed yourself. You should be attending adult services and Bible study. You need accountability all the more being in leadership. Ministry does not exempt us from those things.
  6. It’s about purpose, not ego. Frustrated over the lack of recognition. So many youth ministry leaders fall because their stage is built on praise and applause, instead of purpose and the one true cause which is Christ being glorified in and through the lives of students. Appreciate the praise and applause when given, but build on the purpose and cause. Youth ministry is not a stepping stone for aspiring ministry star power. We have the honor and privilege to serve the church and world at the level that will affect future generations. It should be viewed that way.

When we (and I say “we” because we’ve all been frustrated at one time or another) are frustrated with ministry we should asses our own life, and see whats out of alignment, instead of looking for someone or something to blame. Try sharing this at your next staff meeting, and see what type of feedback you get. Would love to hear about it.

hope it helps,


Aaron Crumbey

Aaron Crumbey

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Aaron Crumbey oversees Pastoral Care for the high school ministry at Saddleback Church. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ. He's married with three children, loves family time, sports, movies and all things musical among some other things. He also runs www.yoacblog.com.

4 responses to 6 Reminders For The Frustrated Youth Leader

  1. This is easily one of the best posts on youth ministry (or ministry in general) that I have ever read! Powerful reminders and incredible truths! Thank you so much for sharing! It really hit me where I’m at right now!

  2. Great insights, Aaron. These are, almost word-for-word, the issues I’ve identified as areas of focus for me. It’s like you’ve been listening to my prayers or something!

    The article is timely. For me, the biggest struggle is #4. I’ve been trying for years to build bridges & relationships with the youth so I could be effective as a counsellor. I believe that is something they desperately need in addition to sound Bible teaching. Despite all my efforts and prayer focus, they just don’t see me as someone approachable. When I’ve tried to initiate a 1-1 conversation, these kids look like a cornered animals! I finally reached the point where I’m ready to admit that I’m not that guy. Why should they see me as approachable? Not many people do outside of church either. I’m a teacher and a story teller. That’s my thing. The kids appreciate me in a group setting, but not 1-on-1. I’ll admit, I’m better at talking than I am at listening.

    To borrow one from Popeye, I yam what I yam. I’ve stopped praying that I could become good at the councelling thing, and I’ve started praying that God would send me some ministry partners that are. It didn’t take long for Him to send me 2 people- and I’ve already observed one of them making some headway. Praise God! Now all I have to do is not lose any traction on #6. :^)

    • Aaron Crumbey

      Thanks for sharing Ken… I wrote this for me hoping that it would encourage someone else. I think one of the hardest things for youth pastors to realize is you need help. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be the best you to those who need you to be you. So great job!! Also, #6 is definitely something that has to be placed in check everyday for all of us.


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