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Kick Butt; Be Healthy

 —  June 3, 2013 — 2 Comments

kick butt

Yesterday I sent this tweet: My simplistic answer to the question of longevity in youth ministry: “Kick butt; Be healthy”.

I’ve had a few people ask if I could expound on that a little so I thought I’d do that this morning.

– Ministry deserves my best efforts.
– The freedoms the church gives me shouldn’t be abused or taken for granted.
– My friends in the marketplace shouldn’t work harder, longer, hours than I do.
– I need to take chances, innovate, and “swing for the fence” on a regular basis.
– I need to aim for excellence…but not be a perfectionist.
– I need to be willing to make tough decisions to help our ministry win.
– “Kick Butt” is actually more of an attitude than an aptitude. It says, “I’m All-In, all the time.”

– Having a “kick butt” attitude isn’t an excuse to neglect the important things in life.
– “healthy” doesn’t mean balanced (I actually don’t think balance exists in ministry life)
– I need to spend time with the Father on a regular basis.
– I need to aim to be a good husband, dad and friend.
– Speaking of friends; I need at least one who knows the real me and isn’t afraid to call me out on stuff.
– I need to have some hobbies and interests that don’t include ministry.
– I need to take care of my body.
– I need to enjoy the journey more than the destination.

This month marks my 25th ministry anniversary. And although I have plenty of regrets and things I wish I would have done differently along the way, I think that part of what’s helped me last and have a measure of success (however one measures that in ministry…if you even can) is having a “Kick Butt; Be Healthy” attitude.

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston


Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

2 responses to Kick Butt; Be Healthy

  1. Spoken like a true pro. This is awesome.

    I love what you have to say about working hard. We need to be reminded of this. It’s sometimes a little too easy to be a slacker because we don’t have a ton of oversight.

    Thanks for the reminders!

  2. Ha! I love it! Definitely a youth ministry mantra. Where you feel youth pastors struggle most? Kicking Butt (Being Professional) or Being Healthy (Soul Keeping)? Personally, I find it harder to Be Healthy. Thanks for the post!

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