There are those days in youth ministry where it feels like you are running through mud. Â They are slow, there is no significant progress and the only thing moving is your blood pressure rising from the frustration you feel. Â I can’t tell you when these days will come, they just seem to emerge and when they do they are awful. Â So what do you do when ministry is mud?
YOU GRIND IT OUT
That means having a plan that is going to help you move forward, no matter how hard it is to be creative or productive. Â To develop that plan means:
Setting A Firm Schedule:Â A framework to your day will make sure you aren’t wearing yourself out. Â That means start time and stop times. Â Breaks and times when you just sit back and learn. Â During the times that you schedule for writing, creating and developing you may notice little fruit; however, having the framework will make sure you aren’t dwelling too long in the frustration they might bring.
Fuel And Rest Up: Just like an athlete when the days get hard you need to make sure your energy level is at it’s highest. Â That means not staying up later, eating right and taking care of your body. Â Sometimes the writer’s block that you feel is because you are tired or not feeling well. Â It’s at these times when it’s important for you to focus on your health and not your productivity.
Become A Learner: You could simply be out of ideas. Â Taking the time you would usually write and create and devote it to reading, watching podcasts or meeting with other youth workers. Â Listening to others and reading their thoughts will sometimes kickstart the productivity engine. Â Just make sure anything that develops you write down.
Spend Time In Prayer:Â When you are in a void of ideas it’s easy to feel disconnected. Â The best way to reignite this connection is to talk with God. Â I find that quiet time in scripture calms me down and takes away the frustration that I may feel when it comes to a writer’s block, lack of ideas or a hard day at work.
Youth ministry is just like any industry where you’ll find moments where you just need to grind it out. Â Do not stress, just go to a plan that will help you move forward. Â Stay focused, put your head down and lean in. Â Remember these seasons are temporary.
What would you add to the plan?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)