Monday, February 14, 2011

Frustrated Youth Pastors ... Need Some Input

Sadly, yesterday I had another in a series of conversations with youth pastors who are really dealing with frustration in ministry lately. Apathetic, complaining students seems to constantly top the list followed by inconsistent volunteers and unsupportive or non-understanding church leadership. So, here are a few questions I would appreciate your input on as I seek to encourage these leaders:
  1. What are some common denominators you've observed that contribute to your frustrations?
  2. Are there certain times of the year (seasons) when you notice a rise in frustration levels?
  3. What keeps you going when you're frustrated?
  4. How do you deal with ...
    1. Apathetic students?
    2. Inconsistent volunteers?
    3. Unsupportive church leaders?


Christopher Wesley said...

Great series of questions. First thing I try to check is my own spiritual health. I'm frustrated with ministry when I'm frustrated with God. If I'm not talking with Him or other youth pastors, I'm holding too much in.
Frustration seems to come after busy seasons (Easter and Christmas) when the adrenaline dies down. What I do now before a busy season is make an action plan of rest, refreshment and rejuvenation after the busy's like recovering from a race.
In regards to a lack of support, I feel that's something where one on one discussions need to happen, along with prayer. That teen, minister or leader might be in a funk, they might not understand an instruction your are laying out, it just needs to be talked about.
Lastly, the best way to handle frustration is to keep moving it. Ministry is full of peaks and valleys. I know that advice isn't helpful to someone who's frustrated but the best we can do is surround ourselves with people who will walk through the darkness with us and remind us that God is there too.

Hope that helps

Kevin Mahaffy, Jr. said...

Good stuff bro! Much appreciated. Your last paragraph about continuing to plug away when frustrated is what I have encouraged them to do.