Here is a portion of an article by Danny Bowers. Its goal is to help youth workers stay strong in ministry.

 

Let me share with you some foundational principles to stay strong personally in ministry that have helped me.

Personal Prayer Time
We can spend so much time praying for students, leaders, and the church that we sometimes never let our own heart just commune with God. We need to have the ability to get away and just talk, vent, share, and listen with our entire being to Christ. So much of us is constantly being given to others that we need to allow time for our hearts to be refreshed. I often turn to John 17:6-26 and allow myself to recite Jesus’ prayer for myself. Looking at the heart of Jesus, I feel encouraged that life and ministry will not be easy, but aligning myself with God’s heart for my life as a follower of Christ does help me put things in perspective.

Meditation
I view this as a personal conversation with you on the wonders of God. Allow your mind and voice to verbalize some of the “power of God” thoughts you have had lately. Look back on a journal entry if you journal. Review an area of Scripture that made you pause and wonder deeper on what you were reading. Verbalize what God is doing in you. If you really want to try something different, record your voice and listen to yourself ponder on the thoughts of God.

Mentor Time
In almost nine years of ministry, I have never had someone model being a healthy youth pastor. I have tried seeking out several people, but it never matched up. What have I done to resolve this? I have done three things.

  • I have aligned myself with books by people who share my same heartbeat for ministry. To me, they are paper mentors.
  • I listen closely to others in ministry who have proven themselves, and learn from their sharing. In the world of iTunes, it is so easy. I have a couple podcasts from pastors who I listen to because I value their heart and desire for the movement of Jesus Christ. I allow myself to be refreshed by them weekly.
  • I have personal knee time. I have several people in my life who I choose to spend personal time with. I ask them key questions about life, marriage, family, struggles, politics, coffee flavors, fantasy football, and much more. We spend knee time together where we sit knee to knee and share life. I allow their lives to be a model for me and I want them to challenge me on what they see in my life that is not healthy. Having a mentor(s) is incredible and is a necessity to continue pursuing a life that glorifies Jesus Christ.
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