For most people in ministry that I have met, vacations and time away from the ministry are often left on the back burner. This is something that, over the past year, I have found to be EXTREMELY hazardous to your spirit as well as your body. We need to have some time to get out and do things that get us out of the 24-hour-a-day mindset that is required in Youth Ministry. For some time now, I have had moments in planning and writing and organizing things for the Youth program to where I have found myself absolutely stressed out over the smallest things. I realized that I wasn’t allowing myself adequate time to “turn off” so to speak.
In order for our hearts and spirits to be able to make a connection we have to allow time for both of them to receive nourishment.
I know I am not the only one out there who struggles with this. There are countless Youth Pastors who seem to struggle with this as well, including the Youth Pastors that are bi-vocational.. In order for our hearts and spirits to be able to make a connection, we have to allow time for both of them to receive nourishment.
Over the past few months, a few friends and I have begun to set out a time block (Thursday mornings at 10am CST) and join each other from all different parts of the United States in a Google Hangout. This has been incredibly refreshing for myself and it is honestly something that I look forward to for the entire week. The conversations have been excellent! We laugh, we discuss, we brainstorm, and most importantly… we pray for each other. There is something so refreshing about receiving prayer from others who are called in the same field of ministry as you are. I leave the hangout every week encouraged and uplifted to take on the next week. This has truly been a time for my spirit to receive nourishment. Worship, reading and prayer are great additions to this as well. However, something that my heart absolutely strives for is joining in community. It’s who I am. I think this is an important thing for anyone in ministry, because we have so many people who we constantly are in contact with that put on their best appearance and try to be perfect, like we are going to speak badly to Jesus about them or something if they don’t.Something that we often miss is the sense of community. It can be flawed and can have problems. But we need help and encouragement to tackle what life has thrown at us. I have been extremely encouraged by this and I would absolutely love for anyone in ministry who is reading this to join us in the Google Hangout on Thursdays.Seriously, you will not regret it.
Secondly, we have to find time to allow us to be ourselves. Whatever your hobby is, pursue it in your free time. I have two distinct hobbies that I absolutely enjoy more than any others…golf and graphic design. They both provide me with the opportunity to clear my head and focus on what I am doing. If i get frustrated, you can typically find me on the putting green or behind my computer designing things. This is my getaway, my spot in life to where it’s just me. I can recharge my mind and body within a matter of an hour or so and get back to work.
Hobbies are extremely important, and I would recommend you pick one up or more passionately pursue your hobbies. Students can see through burned out, exhausted, and spiritually dry leadership. They will call you out on it more times than not. But the thing is… THEY ARE RIGHT!
Allow yourself time to recharge and grow this week. I hope that you can discover a hobby that works well for you.
Also, I am sure there are some other techniques that work well for others. Post them in the comments below! I would love to read them.