Don’t be a “Bath and Body Works” Youthworker…

Note to our female readers: This post is written by a male. We see things a little differently, and that’s ok. Hang with me, this satire makes a point… 

When I hear the words “Bath and Body Works” as  a guy, two things come to mind. 1) The migraine-inducing mix of all the strong smells as you walk by the store entrance at the mall, and 2) some strange combinations that work for lotions and such, but would not in the real world.

Lets dig into that second association and apply it to youth ministry.  In youth ministry, manTHIS-GUY-RIGHTy churches are quick to look to what is seen as successful in other growing/larger churches. Maybe its a sports ministry, maybe a bus, maybe a change in the worship, etc. They quickly adopt the “successful item” into their existing ministry without any planning. Just like coconut-lime, things suddenly got a little strange. It took focus off the things your church was doing well, and diverted them to someone else’s idea.


Maybe you are not trying another the plans of another church, its just that the ministry is “stuck” and you are grasping for anything that will take you out of the rut. In this situation, you still lose focus. Maybe you combine two things that, on their own are perfectly fine, but together are a little weird, like wild blackberry-vanilla or color wars-dodgeball.

Either scenario is likely to give kids the same reaction I have at the mall – walk faster and pretend you didn’t see or smell it…


Here is my encouragement. Be not who you are, but who God has called you to be. Don’t get lost in the identity of a youth worker, you are His child, who also works with youth. Never forget that.   You are not the only struggling youth worker. There are many others, even in your area. Network and collaborate to further the Gospel in your community, together.

We are better together.


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Brent Lacy

Youth Pastor. Web Designer. Homeschool Dad. Former Child Abuse Investigator. IT Technician. Writer. Lock-in Survivor. Rural Ministry Advocate. These all describe the experiences and stories that are part of Brent Lacy’s time in ministry. Brent grew up on 160 acres of corn, soybeans and cattle in Southern Illinois. He is currently a Rural Ministry Specialist with National Network of Youth Ministry (NNYM), based in Rockville, Indiana where he lives with his beautiful wife and three awesome kids in the Covered Bridge Capital of the World! His book "Rural Youth Ministry: Thrive Where You're Planted" is available at and on the Kindle Store.

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