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The first time I ran 12 miles I seriously questioned my sanity. I was in the middle of the run and I had hit that point of, “Why am I doing this?” I had just started training for my first marathon and each week I was testing out new limits; however, for some reason I started to question whether or not I was doing the right thing. I was sweaty, sore, and I could have sworn my toes fell off somewhere around mile 8. I just hit a point and stopped. I had hit the wall.
There is nothing worst than hitting the wall in the midst of progress. It’s sudden, shocking and it hurts. When it comes to running you feel like your body just can’t do anymore, the voices of doubt get louder in your head and it will finish you. It will finish you, unless you’ve prepared for these moments. We don’t plan adversity; however, if we anticipate it and prepare for the times ministry gets tough, we will surely be able to bust through those walls. The way this is done is by:
By building a solid foundation you will be able to handle most of the obstacles thrown your way. Just as a runner knows what to do when he or she is hurt, a cramp sneaks up out of no where or the joy of running loses it’s luster, a youth minister must have the tools and resources to bust through that wall. In youth ministry building on that solid foundation means:
- Having People To Rescue You – Sounds odd; however, you can’t do ministry on your own. You can try, but you’ll only fail. As youth ministers we need people who will give us knowledge; however, give us strength when we are at our weakest. To be proactive form an accountability team who you meet with on a regular basis.
- Knowing How To Check Out – Many of us refuse to take a break until we are physically incapable of moving forward. While we might rebound from exhaustion it isn’t wise in the long run. We need to plan some of our breaks so that we can avoid burn out. You might not need the rest; however, to truly enjoy a break one doesn’t need to be exhausted.
- Recognizing Your Limits – Too often we try to do too much. If you overextend yourself, than you overextend your ministry. When a program falls apart or a minister leaves you could find yourself in a hole. Knowing your limits means knowing where you have to delegate, when to say, “NO” and where your ministry is headed. To embrace your limits create structure and discipline. Sometimes this involves collaboration from your team and a few hard; but, fruitful conversations from your family.
A strong foundation will weather against any storm. But, the most important thing we can do is make God the focus of our ministries and our personal lives. By leaning on him we not only assure ourselves success; but, longevity.
What are the other attributes to a solid foundation?