Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Dips and Lows

There are times in youth ministry (and probably every ministry) where you feel like you are just stuck in a rut, going through the motions.  

I heard something great on Episode 198 of the Youth Ministry Garage.  The feeling of being in the “rut” is normal.  Don’t feel guilty.  It happens.  I don't think I have ever in 20 years of youth ministry heard anyone say this.

I’m not in the rut right now but I have certainly been there several times.  I think if you are in the same place, doing the same thing for any length of time you experience lows.  Perhaps this is why at, one time, youth ministers moved from church to church every 16 months?  Maybe they hit the “rut” and felt like the magic is over and it’s time to move on to a new church.
Just thinking out loud.

Someone on the show used the word “diluted”.  When your job description is more than just youth ministry, which for most churches you find the youth pastor doing more than just youth ministry.  When passion gets diluted you get bummed.  Plain and simple.  Mainly because when you are divided in many ways you find that you aren’t good at any of them.

I also think churches need to focus on what their ultimate goal for the youth ministry will be.  What’s the purpose of the youth ministry?  Then decide not to tag on lots of other jobs on the new youth pastor’s job description and just let him do youth ministry.  If you need a children’s pastor either hire one or wait till down the road when your church is at the spot where you can hire a children’s pastor.  If you need an “associate pastor”, either hire one or wait till down the road when you are ready to do so.  Get the picture?  Don’t lump a bunch of titles on a youth pastor (or any other ministry position) just to sell the hire and make it legit.  Come up with a long range plan.

I would love to hear the following in an SBC business meeting:
“I know many of you think we need to make this position the youth/senior adult pastor.  Lets us focus on one for now since we can’t afford both. Down the road as the church and ministry grows we can hire the other.”

If your church is in the search process right now please feel free to pass this blog post on to the search committee. ;)

I know that I personally need to focus on my sweet spot in youth ministry.   Do what I love to do and focus on it.  The things that I do that others can do I need to give those things away.

For the short term I think I’ll just get refreshed driving the Jeep on the beach.

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