Top 10 Keys to Longevity in Youth Ministry
I received this question from a youth worker in December:
I am speaking at a youth ministry event on Longevity in Ministry. I would love to hear back from you on what your top 10 secrets of longevity in ministry are?
Here’s what I wrote in response (in no particular order):
- Embrace humility. Ask people to hold you accountable to this.
- Have intentional conversations with youth workers who have stayed in one church for 10 years or more. Seek their input.
- Make a list of the reasons why longevity is valuable. Pull it out and read it from time to time.
- Get over yourself. You are not God’s secret weapon or only option.
- Ruthlessly develop intimacy with Jesus. Only when you are deeply connected with Jesus will you be able to set aside your ego and weather the temptations to move on.
- Remind yourself regularly that your calling does not come from people, but from god.
- Decide how you will measure your success. Bad measures of success = a big program, lots of ego strokes, buzz, impressive numbers. Good measures of success = the faith of former teenagers when they’re in their 20s or 30s (and only longevity allows you to really see that).
- Consider the cost to your church, the teenagers you serve, your family, and your own soul of constantly looking over the fence for something “better”.
- Eschew power. Power corrupts your calling and falsely inflates your sense of importance.
- Value faithfulness over influence.
Oh, and #11: Cultivate a life outside of youth ministry.
How about an even dozen? #12: Be ruthless about establishing and honoring a sustainable rhythm of silence and solitude.
What do you think? What did i miss? And which of these is most difficult for you?