Youth Ministry. What an overwhelming two words. Whether we are coordinating fun events, attending multiple basketball games in a night, or doing lesson prep, we are always busy. While most people only see us on Sunday or Wednesday, we seem to always feel like we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off! I once heard a story from a youth pastor that had a student in his youth ministry ask “What do you do every other day of the week?”
We have a lot to do. And sometimes in a ministry leadership position, we can feel like we have to do it all on our own. We need to have a game picked out, get all of the supplies ready, make sure the snacks are ready, prepare a PowerPoint, lesson prep, write a handout, engage kids, and the list goes on and on. Our weeks are busy. Our days and nights are busy. And it can become so stressful. The average tenure of a youth pastor today is shockingly low. And we know why. It’s a stress-filled, busy life, in which help guide and take on the spiritual well-being of a group of students, some of who are struggling through things we have never experienced personally. But we were never meant to do it alone.
Where to find help
Whether you are the only leader in the room during your weekly meeting, or you have a team of 20 leaders, you have people that want to help. I promise. People want your ministry to succeed. The old phrase “seek and you shall find” is relevant here. It’s not every day a member of the church runs up and asks if you need more leaders in your ministry. But they are there, in your church.
Give people the opportunity to serve by making your needs known. Volunteer cards hung in the lobby of your church can give people the chance to get involved in an area that they may specialize in where you need help. Maybe you have someone who LOVES organizing and running games. Getting them involved in your group will take a load off of your back and giving people options of where to serve (worship, snacks, soundboard, checking kids in, small group leaders, game time etc.) will help them feel comfortable volunteering.
And don’t forget, you have young adults IN YOUR ROOM that want to help serve too! Asking students to help you run copies, turn on soundboards, change slides, clean up after, or to play on the worship team can be a great tool for you! They want to help, it makes them feel important, and giving your students a chance to serve can only bring fruit. People want you and your ministry succeed! It’s an overwhelming job, but you have help. Youth ministry is a great mission, a great challenge, and a great joy. Share that joy with others. You are not alone, pastor.
David Toelle is in his first year of ministry at Pine Acres MB in Weatherford Oklahoma. He loves the mountains, Diet Coke and quesadillas.