The Drive Home: One of the most important transitions

It has to be the right song or else I’m feeling all bottled up.  After a Thursday and Sunday night of ministry I want to hear that song that’s going to rev me up and then cool me down, so that when I get home, it’s all about home.  What’s your song?  For me right now it’s a little Switchfoot, Mumford and Sons…maybe old school Pearl Jam.  On the drive home I let the song become the soundtrack to my day as I replay the highs and the lows.  But then there are times I don’t need the music, sometimes I just want to hear the engine, the tires, the windshield wipers to set the mood.  No matter what you do, you need a plan for one of the most important times of a youth ministers day:

The End
In student ministry it’s really hard leaving work behind; however, it’s something we all need to do.  If we don’t two things will suffer:

  1. Our Relationship With God
  2. Our Relationship With Family

For some of you, you aren’t married and that’s fine, but if you aren’t building a habit that helps you separate work from personal then you’ll risk being jaded and feeling burnout.  We all know it’s easier said then done, it’s not like we walk out our office door and BOOM! work day is over, family begins.  So here are a few things to consider making one of the most important transitions of your day:

  1. Never end the day on an email or voicemail.  Try to make checking your messages a habit you tackle midday.  We all know if you read a negative email first thing it can throw off your day, well same thing can happen at the end.  Except, you’re not really ending your day, just your work day, but your about to begin your home life and no one deserves that negativity.
  2. Sit before you drive.  Say a prayer, give yourself a minute before you start that car.  You don’t want any anxiety or negative emotions to influence your drive.  You don’t want your preoccupied mind creating unnecessary road rage, which could pour over.  Even if you have to, make a playlist and take the scenic route home, give yourself the time to decompress.
  3. No television, no online, go to your family and God first.  This one I struggle with but I know there is value to going home and spending those first few minutes with family and God.  It might be easier to plop down in front of the television, but all your doing is suppressing thoughts that might need to be processed.  Talk first, watch later.
  4. Shut work off.  Don’t check your messages, your Facebook or even your Twitter, just shut it off.  I also struggle with this because I have the need to be connected.  There will be times when you need to bring work home, but it should never be a habit.  Just as your Pastor wants you focusing on work in the office, your family wants you to focus on them when you are home.

Again, easier said than done, but that shouldn’t stop us.  If anything come up with a routine, set a time where you drop what you do and you go home.  It’s something that you’ll need accountability to help you succeed, but you need a plan.  When we can make the transition from youth minister to parent, spouse, son, daughter…child of God we will not only honor those who love us, but give ourselves the rest we need to start a new day fresh.

How do you decompress after a day of ministry?

What obstacles make it difficult for you to separate work and home?

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  • Heather says:

    I read blogs much like this one…because they usually affirm me, make me remember that I’m not crazy for feeling the way I do after a hard message, encourage me, and build me up to be a better leader. And time in Psalms also makes me feel better.

  • Heather,
    thanks for the kind words I’m glad that you find affirmation in what I write. You just made my day. I get that from a few of my friends on twitter and their blogs too, I think if we can shot out praise to one another that would be awesome. And getting some scripture in our hearts is always good.