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I’m new. I’ve been in ministry less than five years, and only 9 months of that has been in full time vocational ministry. But even I know that it’s easy to get frustrated. I was asked the other day what I do when I get frustrated, down, depressed, dejected, or hurt. You know the feeling…when you walk out of your youth ministry meeting and think, “What….just….happened…” And debate, whether or not your Calvanist or Reformed, if some of your students are doomed. You wonder if some of them will ever “get it.” You wonder if you’re doing anything productive. You wonder if you can go on. You do the math to figure out how many hours until a student graduates or until you have a guest speaker. You’re empty, drained, and hurting. Stepping out of our situation, we know where we are is where God has called us, we love our students, we want them to see the Lord and we would do whatever it takes to invest in them..but we’re empty.
When asked, I told the person that I’ll listen to an old Simply Youth Ministry Podcast with Doug Fields. Or I’ll send a text to a ministry mentor. Or I’ll vent to my wife. Or I’ll read a book or a blog. Or I’ll pray if I’m feeling extra holy. (I kid. I always kick it off with venting and praying to God).
But here’s my question. As a seasoned vet, new kid, volunteer, or whatever you are, what do you do when you are discouraged?