Not every season in ministry is a great one. Sometimes things are wonderful, sometimes they are terrible, and sometimes they aren’t bad, you just feel like you have no motivation. I am not talking burnout, but rather just coasting without a desire to excel. You may have tasks that you know you should do but you simply don’t feel like doing them. The ministry will run without them and it’s not like anything is bad in the ministry it is just okay and you are okay with it. That is the exact place that I was in for about a month and was only recently able to change it.
It wasn’t burnout, I didn’t mind being at work, I still loved ministry, I looked forward to youth group but I simply didn’t have much of a desire to push hard. Perhaps it was the first step to burnout but that’s not what it felt like, it felt more like maybe some chronic laziness or something. Just simply a lack of motivation to step on the gas peddle and strive for greatness in the ministry. I was okay to simply float along and let the ministry happen around me without me being an active participant and agent of change. This was extremely odd for me since I am an unusually driven and motivated person. Not only do I usually strive for excellence in my ministry but I am also an author, blog contributor for multiple sites including the site that I run and speaker. I was finding it difficult to find motivation to write and even think of topics. Something was not right and I needed to find my motivation again.
Maybe you have been there before, you are there right now, or you will experience it in the future but losing your motivation can be extremely frustrating and difficult. So, what do you do? How do you find motivation when it is gone? Here is what I did.
Take a break and get away. Do something that will bring life to you and get you out of the monotonous day to day routine. Maybe it is taking a long weekend with your family and simply enjoying life with them. Or maybe it is getting away by yourself in the mountains and recharging. But rejuvenating is one of the biggest ways to regain your motivation. You will come back with a fresh outlook and a renewed passion to dive into the mission God has given you rather than simply float through it.
Refocus on the why’s. Sometimes we get “blah” because we are in the middle of so much “blah.” The day to day ministry stuff really isn’t that exciting, but that is not why any of us got into ministry in the first place which is why it is so important that we remember our why. Why did you get involved in ministry in the beginning? Why are you in ministry right now? Sit down, by yourself, in a comfortable place, and write down your why. Remember your call. Then reflect on what your mission and vision are and why you have been called to those. Sometimes we lose sight of those extremely important things and we need to refocus on our mission and the why behind what we are doing. Often times our motivation is tied up in our why and we need to refocus on that.
Once you begin to gain back your motivation to push forward and not just coast, recommit. Recommit your ministry as a whole to God. Because it is His ministry and when we realize that it is His and it is committed to Him recommitment should change the way we view it. When it is no longer our ministry it is not okay for it to simply be okay. When our ministry is committed to Him we must strive for excellence in everything we do and that is our motivation. The second part of the recommitment is very similar, recommit to doing your best for Him. First we recommit the ministry, second, we recommit ourselves as ministers. Again, when we no longer view ourselves as simply ministers working for a church, running a program, but rather ministers for Christ working for Him, it should change everything. Our motivation is found in Him and we need to remind ourselves of that by recommitting ourselves to Him.
Ministry is difficult and sometimes that difficulty can suck our motivation. But we need to remember to rejuvenate, refocus and recommit to find our motivation and excel in what we do.
TODD JONES has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of STOKEDONYOUTHMINISTRY.COM, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball, and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd at STOKEDONYOUTHMINSITRY.COM, THETODDJONES.COM, or on Twitter @THETODD_JONES, or Instagram @TODD_JONES.