Youth ministry is hard, and the odds are you will want to quit at some point this year. We’ve all had bad ministry moments, and it’s not uncommon to end up in your car at the end of the night wondering what in the world you’re doing.
We all struggle, and it’s normal to think about quitting. Unfortunately, too many youth workers will do more than think about it this year. Many great youth workers will walk away from ministry and quit early.
In over a decade of youth ministry, I’ve thought about quitting a lot. I’m glad I didn’t though, because the Lord has always showed up in the best ways following the toughest seasons!
Here’s what I’ve found on this youth ministry journey. When it comes to youth ministry, fruitfulness is often the result of faithfulness. When things get tough, don’t give up! Messy ministry is fertile ground for major miracles.
If you want to have a fruitful ministry, faithfulness is the key! There will come a time for all of us to quit or move on, just make sure you don’t walk away too early. Here are four ways to push through and ensure you don’t quit early this year.
4 Steps to Take When You Feel Like Quitting
Things are never as good or as bad as they seem. Remember this truth when you feel like quitting, and take time to remember the good times and how God has moved in the past.
A proper perspective is key to pressing on in youth ministry. When you think about quitting, take time to think about the big picture. Keeping perspective will keep you on the right path and out of an emotional ditch.
Lean on God
The Lord has a great track record of turning no win situations into victory laps. You may feel hopeless and see nothing but darkness ahead, but that doesn’t mean God is done with you yet. As my pastor often says, “if you’re not dead God’s not done with you!"
When you feel like quitting, the best place to lean is on the shoulders of the great sustainer. I’m sure David wanted to quit when Saul was hunting him down, but the Lord had bigger and better plans for him.
I think He has bigger and better plans for you too. When you feel like quitting, lean on the Lord for the strength to keep going and stay the course. Ask Him to sustain you through the tough seasons.
Lean on People
The worst way to walk through life is alone. And if you’re doing youth ministry alone, I can guarantee you won’t be doing it for long! Youth ministry isn’t supposed to be you against the world, it’s supposed to be a team sport.
When one person on a team is struggling, the other team members come together to pick up the slack. Good teams do anyway! So what about you? Do you have a team to lean on when things get tough?
Great youth workers are part of great teams. They don’t do ministry alone, and they have people to lean on when the shots aren’t falling. Who will you lean on when you feel like quitting? The answer will determine the length and depth of your ministry impact.
Take Your Time (Wait for a Good Day)
Never quit on a bad day. If you think it’s time to hang up your hat, wait on a good day and make the decision then. The circumstances of a bad day can manipulate us into making decisions we will later regret. So why not wait on a good day to make sure your judgment isn’t clouded?
If you’re in a really bad season it may take a while, but let me encourage you to be patient. Wait on a good day or some time off before making a decision. Bad days lead people to bad decisions, and good days lead to good decisions. So when you feel like quitting, wait on a good day to decide what’s next.
None of us will stay in youth ministry forever. There will come a time when it’s right to step away, and when you do God will bless it. My prayer though,is that we will be a people who squeeze every ounce of blessing we can out of our youth ministry calling! Here’s to longevity in youth ministry and your best ministry year ever.