It is no secret that ministry can be a discouraging gig! Especially youth ministry. For some reason, it can drive you to disappointment, discouragement and depression quicker than just about anything. I have experienced all of those and I can’t even count how many times I have wanted to quit, walk away and never look back.
Maybe you are like me and the idea of not being in ministry, having a normal job with normal hours, more money, less stress and less pressure sounds good to you. And why wouldn’t it? I mean, come on, what we do in ministry and what we deal with almost daily is NOT EASY! We have all experienced days where we just need some encouragement and a reminder of why we do what we do.
So, how do you find the encouragement to keep going? When things are tough and discouragement is all you see, how do you see the light again?
Remembering our wins, why’s, and who’s can be the biggest source of encouragement and the first steps in bringing you out of discouragement.
Yes, it may feel like everything is terrible and you just want to quit but it wasn’t always like that. You have seen huge wins in ministry, remember those wins! Make yourself a “Wins” box where you jot down the positive things that happen so you can go back and look at them to remind yourself of those awesome times in your ministry. Maybe you have saved some ‘thank you’ notes, letters of encouragement or positive things that have happened so you can pull them out and look at them when times are rough, and that is an amazing source of encouragement.
But here is another one that is a little different, and while the wins box is great this is a little bit out of the box.
A why-video is something my wife introduced me to and uses in her business often. She is in sales and so she is no stranger to discouragement either. Which is why she made a why-video and encourages her team members to do the same.
A why-video is simply a video made for yourself where you explain why you do what you do. Why did you get into youth ministry in the first place? Why do you keep going? What motivates you? Why is youth ministry so rewarding? What examples of life change have you witnessed?
Simply hit ‘record’ on your phone or computer camera and answer those questions. Be real, raw, honest and passionate in your answers so there is no doubt about why you do what you do. Rewatch and replay your why-video as often as you need to remember why you do it. When you need encouragement it is there, straight from your own mouth, and hopefully will get you to remember your why.
A why-video is a simple and easy way to provide yourself with some much needed and timely encouragement. Just remember to record the video BEFORE discouragement hits, when you are really feeling your purpose, calling and the wins in your ministry. Thank you for being a youth worker and keep pressing on!
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 STOKEDONYOUTHMINISTRY.COM, THETODDJONES.COM, or on Twitter @THETODD_JONES, or Instagram @TODD_JONES.