Youth ministry is an exhilarating calling! The challenge is, things can become kind of busy. It’s important to remember that we’re not the only ones with hectic schedules. In light of the most recent holiday break, students are transitioning back to academic life. Seriously, their bedtime for the last 2 weeks of 2017 was 6:00 am, and now they have to wake up at 6 am. Add on top of that: homework, tests, sports & extracurricular activities, family life, jobs, school work, and keeping up with Snapchat streaks. It can be enough to drive a person crazy! But lo, summer is coming in all its glory!
While I don’t appreciate the heat that summer brings, I love the ministry opportunities it offers. Consider this, many of the obstacles that keep us and our students from connecting go away with the final school bell of the year, never to return again for a couple of months. Now it’s also true that with summer some different obstacles present themselves, such as vacations. However I must confess, whenever I hear of a youth ministry taking the summer off from getting together for worship, fun, and serving, I’m baffled. That’s because, I believe summer is an ideal time to press in on a more personal level and connect with students in a meaningful way. The powerful ministry opportunities coming tomorrow require something of us today. Are you ready to be proactive?
In my 5 years of youth ministry I’ve discovered that being proactive is an art, and art is beautiful! The art of being proactive in ministry essentially means taking care of things today instead of tomorrow, as time allows.
Here are 3 proactive skills we can implement now that will lead to opportunities later:
Calendar- If you’re not using the calendar on your smart phone, tablet, computer, or other means, you should start. Keeping a visible calendar allows you to productively use your time. Further, many devices offer apps that help create checklists that can be utilized to help stay on task today, creating opportunity to work ahead on tomorrow.
Concentrate– Stay focused, by any reasonable means necessary. Coffee is your friend, unless it isn’t. So is going outside for a little while, meeting a friend for lunch, listening to music or a podcast. Work hard, but also step away periodically and do something more enjoyable. I’ve found that when I take healthy breaks through a day, I’m more laser-focused on blazing through my responsibilities. This allows me bonus time to work ahead on future tasks.
Calibrate- It’s funny how we often find ourselves getting into a routine, and never stop to honestly gauge what we do and why we’re doing it. If we take the time to calibrate our tasks, we’d likely find we’re caught up in more busy work than we realize. Busy work is one of our greatest enemies! I shudder at the mere thought of ministry opportunities I’ve perhaps missed out on because I was too caught up in my routine or busy work. What could we say “NO” to that will allow us to say “YES” to something greater?
Proactivity is a dear ally to ministry. Keep a calendar, concentrate, and calibrate. These 3 steps will help us become more proactive now leading to life-changing ministry opportunities and freedom in the days to come. Keep your head up, you’re doing better than you realize!
For more information, feel free to check out:
“Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul” by Brady Body (David C. Cook Publishing)
Kane McEntire is the Youth Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. He is married to his amazing wife Leslie, and a father to his 3 kids, Talan, Kole, and Ella Mercy. He is passionate about youth, community, compassion being shown towards all, Wichita State basketball, vintage stereo equipment, and collecting vinyl records. You can connect with Kane on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.