How To Avoid Worry

Courtesy of Sarah G…/Creative Commons License

This past weekend I went hiking up Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley.  It’s a hike I’ve done before and one of my favorites because of the changing terrain.  At the beginning it’s switch backs, then you hit some rock sprawls and next thing you know you are doing a little bit of climbing and leaping.  All in all it’s a tough but rewarding experience.  Again, it’s one I’ve done before; however, this lastest time the heat made it a little more challenging.  As much as I enjoyed the hike I couldn’t help but worry about whether or not I had enough water.  Fortunately, the people I was traveling with had enough for the both of us, and with proper pacing the hike was a blast.
There are times in ministry when we wonder whether or not we will make it.  Maybe it’s a week at work camp and you worry about everybody’s safety.  It could be writing a talk and you worry about the teens’ response.  It could be an activity that went wrong and you worry about a parent’s potential phone call.  There are going to be moments in ministry when the elements are tested, to make sure you survive you need to have:

  • Preparation – Being over prepared can be a little obnoxious; however, being unprepared can be dangerous.  Without the right materials people are set-up for failure.  Without preparation you lack professionalism and that can lead to a less of credibility.  If you struggle with preparation it could be due to a lack of margin.  Look at your calendar, eliminate the unnecessary and give yourself some breathing room.  
  • Accountability – Who has your back?  If you fall who is going to pick you up?  This can be a scary questions to ask yourself because you might not know the answer?  If that’s you, then you need to talk to your pastor, a minister you look to or just a friend (I’m hoping spouse is a given).  When you can surround yourself with people you trust they will make sure you succeed.
  • Faith – Do you pretend to be in control?  The most important relationship you can have as a youth minister is the one you have with God.  You need to trust that God is moving through you and your ministry because that’s the only way it’s going to grow.  To build your faith you need to make sure that you are looking for ways to grow as a leader and disciple of Christ.  The more you can lean on God the more He will provide.

Doesn’t matter how much you love your job you will feel moments of pressure.  Those situations can lead to anxiety and worry that will jeopardize wonderful experiences and growth moments.  Take the time to prepare, surround yourself with people who will invest in you and never stop growing in Christ.  It will always pay off in the end.

How do you survive moments of pressure in ministry?