Your Most Important Relationships: Introduction

Courtesy of iMorpheus/Creative Commons License

The relationships we have in ministry will inspire, challenge, shape and even hurt us.  Some of those relationships we think will last forever while others will just be a moment in time.  Recently I’ve been thinking about the people who have come in and out of my life.  The ones who I’ve known since I’ve started this journey and the ones I’ve met along the way.  People have either pushed me to be better or dragged me down; however, it’s all been a part of God’s plan to make me the disciple I am today.
As youth ministers our job is all about relationships.  Even if you are in a small town, in a small church you are surrounded by people who your serve, work alongside of you, challenge and help you to grow.  And as many as there are I want to look at 8 of them over the next 8 posts (I post Mon-Thurs).  My hope is that you can grab a deeper appreciation as to why God has put them in your life and how they can help you be the best youth minister possible.  This is who came to mind:

  • Pastor: Your pastor is your boss, your leader and possibly your mentor.  This relationship is the most important one you have inside the church building because if it isn’t healthy then you will be facing a nearly impossible journey.
  • Spouse: Not all of us are called to marriage; however, for those of us who are, we know this is our most important relationship outside the church.  Without the loving support, understanding and challenges of a spouse we’ll struggle to maintain balance.
  • Teenagers: This is who you feel God has called you to serve.  A relationship with them means a look at your past, and a search for their future.  A healthy relationship with them will always show you what the church can and will be.
  • Parents: This is one of the more difficult relationships because like you they are emotionally invested in their teens.  Even more than mentoring teens we are called to partner with parents, it’s just not always clear what that means.
  • Ministers: They are your ministry’s hands and feet.  They look to take your goals and plans and run with them.  They serve not only for their love of God but because they see you as a leader.  The struggle is to figure out what a professional volunteer team looks like.
  • Children’s Director:  One of the biggest investments you need to make in your job is in the children’s ministry.  If it isn’t healthy then you will always face an uphill battle.  Working side by side with this person will help you plan for your future.
  • The Youth Worker Down The Road: Networking is a key to your longevity.  I guarantee any problem you will ever face one of them has seen before.  By partnering with the guy/girl down the road you gain accountability and support in what you do.
  • God: This is the most important relationship overall.  Just because you do ministry doesn’t mean you are always connected to Jesus Christ.  Although He is last on this list He needs to be the relationship you put first because without Him you have nothing.  How do you separate worship and work to really go deeper in your relationship with God?  That’s something we all struggle with.

I could go on with the list, after all the relationship we have with the Maintenance Person/Building Superintendent, Financier, elders/parish council, etc. are right up there, but then there would be no end to this discussion.  So over the next two weeks, I hope to share with you how these relationships have impacted my ministry and how they can impact yours for the better.  Be sure to check back in.

What other relationships would you add to the list?