Having spent nearly 10 years in Youth Ministry, there is one thing that is constant -even more so than change- burnout. I have seen numerous youth workers, staff and volunteer alike come in like gang-busters only to fizzle out and fall away from ministry while trying to recompose the pieces of their lives. Youth ministry is an amazing calling, and doing God’s work in the lives of teens is an incredible privilege. It fires me up! But all fires have the potential to burnout. And if you’re a volunteer, or part time youth worker that potential is higher by like a bagillion degrees!
If you’re like me, being in part time youth ministry means that you’re already sacrificing portions of your vacation time, or taking unpaid days off of work, to do ministry. Whether it’s for missions trips, camps, retreats whatever. So the thought of taking more time off just to go to a conference that doesn’t actually involve teenagers, may seem like a frivolous or even selfish thing to do. It’s not.
The fact is, if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, physically, emotionally, spiritually, we can’t expect our leadership to be effective. We tell our students how they are a part of the body of Christ, and that when one part suffers we all feel the pain with them. That my friend is a two way street, you too are a part of the same body.
This year will be my third year attending SYMC. Think of it like a youth retreat, for YOU. Deep teaching, amazing worship, authentic relationship building, prayer and counseling, and REST. It is a tradition of mine to intentionally skip a workshop, lecture, whatever, and take a nap on a giant sack chair. I look forward to that every year!
I encourage you as someone who has reaped the benefits of this conference to explore the possibility of coming. You will return to your ministry, rested, encouraged, and STRONGER.
If you’re coming please hit me up on Twitter @JeremiahIsley or join in the community at the hashtag #SYMC
Jeremiah Isley has nearly 10 years of youth ministry experience with 3 of those being on staff as a “part time” you director. You can find out more about Jeremiah and his journey through YM at www.JeremiahIsley.com and you can follow him on twitter @JeremiahIsley