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Ah, summer vacation, nothing can beat it. For some of you it’s heading to the beach, other’s the lake or mountains for a little rest and relaxation. For my family it’s heading up north to Wells Beach, Maine for a little get away and a lot of lobster. I look forward to shutting things down, reading a nice book and having fun with my family on the beach. I look forward to it; however, a part of me grows anxious because my vacation signifies that summer is nearly over. The anxiety is also a reflection of self doubt on whether or not I’ve gotten everything ready for the last month of summer.
Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in ministry there are going to be moments of anxiety and stress due to things within and out of our control. It’s easy for those moments to appear in the summer because we often approach this season as a time to let down our guards and relax (even if just for a little); however, quickly realize it’s something more. While the pace of your ministry might slow down a little, you need to be thinking ahead, you need to be preparing and getting ready for the next season. The anxiety that you feel as a youth minister is due to whether or not you feel prepared for the juggernaut known as Fall. And we begin to fear that:
- We Will Not Have Enough Volunteers – You always need more volunteers; however, finding them is like searching for a mythological animal. Relax, they are there it’s just about asking people. If you can make a push through the pulpit great; however, think about going grassroots. Pray about a number that you want and bring God into the equation. Next, ask parents in your ministry with a few email blasts, encourage your current team to ask around and just be persistent. You might not get what you want; however, rely on God and He’ll give you what you need.
- Teens Won’t Return – Some of your teens you won’t see the entire summer; therefore, it’s easy to believe that they won’t return. The fear of starting out cold can be overwhelming; so, the best thing you can do is plan a few get togethers before the year kicks off. Post on your Facebook page a quick gathering at a local eatery or hangout. The crowd might be small; however, you can build momentum as you get closer to the beginning of the year.
- We Will Fall Behind In Production – Granted you are a few weeks off until your first message and lesson; however, the margin is slipping away. To stay ahead take some time to sit down and write out a production calendar. Make firm deadlines and share them with your team. This gives everyone a pace at which they can move at. If it’s too fast make adjustments, if it’s too slow start thinking of what more you can do. Either way create a path or risk getting lost.
If you let your fears paralyze you then you’ll find yourself sinking in ministry. When the anxiety increases look to God to calm you, find friends who will step up to serve you and know that you aren’t alone. Summer is meant to be enjoyed; however, it’s not meant to be taken for granted. To knock down your fears entering into any summer just make sure you have a plan.
What gets you most anxious during the summer?