Since accepting my new position, I have accepted several speaking and training opportunities that give me a chance to pour into Youth Leaders. Honestly, this is one of my favorite things to do in ministry.
I am doing a training in Illinois for Southern Baptist Youth Leaders at the end of this month called “Healthy Youth Leaders Do This:_____”. I have decided to start this discussion online early to a wider audience, because this is such a vital issue!
Youth Leader health is so important. I am not just talking about exercise and eating your veggies. If you want to discuss that, my friend Mark at SweatCor does an excellent job with that. I want to take a step in a little different direction and talk Spiritual, Emotional, and Family health as a Youth Leader.
Its way to easy to just look at another youth worker that is doing “the right things” without looking at the basis for why they are doing what they are doing to reach students for the kingdom. We have to be willing to ask the tough questions if we are going to do student ministry from a healthy place. I desire for you to be there, because healthy Youth Workers reach more students for the Kingdom.
I’m going to ask you a question that may hurt a little, especially if you have been in ministry for a long time… Do you know what it is to be a healthy youth worker?
We can operate for years using great programs borrowed from others, slick curriculums printed by some great people, and games that get the students riled up. But have you ever served from a healthy place?
As a 14-year veteran of student ministry, that question stings me a little. I can quickly look back to times in minstry that I have been chewed up, knocked around, and deeply hurt by things going on in the church or my personal life that affected how I served families. But to look at the inverse of this hurt to healthy times makes me a little angry. Angry that I have been serving of a place as a “wounded soidier” almost as much as showing any sign of real, vital health.
Don’t get me wrong, “healthy” in student ministry is not a destination, as much as a level of maintenance. Just like an athelete has to continually train to maintain a level of performance on the field, we have to make sure we are doing what is healthy first for ourselves, then for the families that we serve.
So to continue this discussion, lets be clear that everything we’re going to discuss is something that will require constant attention in our lives and ministries. The work is going to be tough, but the payoff is going to be worth it in our lives, our families, and our ministries.
What benchmarks for Youth Leader Health are you aiming for? Share in the comments area below…
Lets do this. We are better together.
Next up: Healthy Youth Leaders: Learn