These 3 Simple Stress Solutions Can Work for You

Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc

Stress is damaging and contagious. Our kids are affected by it. Parents of teens are about as stressed as you can get. Not only are we stressed over conflicts with our kids, we are also dealing with the health issues of our parents. Somewhere in there is our personal stress about money, work, the future, and our own health concerns.

This has been so true for me over the past few months that I had to take some intentional steps to get some relief. It worked!  I really hope that these will work for you too.

The Most Important Thing in Ministry and 3 Things You Can Do About It

What’s the most important thing that you do?

Is it your preaching?  Maybe it’s your leadership?  Better yet is it being relational?

I think it is none of those things. In fact I think the most important thing we must do is so obvious that we often forget it. I heard of another person this week who had their life drastically affected by one thing:  They had an affair.  I do not know all of the details but I would bet money they forgot the most important thing they should be doing.

It is so simple but so easily neglected.

Dangerous Comparisons: Finding peace in who you are and what you do without becoming complacent.

I felt defeated

A few weeks ago I found myself dissatisfied with my life in a bad way.

Maybe it had something to do with joining twitter and seeing so many popular leaders with thousands of followers. I saw authors and speakers who looked great and commanded the respect of others in youth ministry. In so many ways it seemed as though they were at the top of their profession! They had it made and I was envious.

I had to step away from my lap top for a moment and do some soul searching about the envy that was building in my heart. “Wow, where did that come from?” I said out loud. “I thought I dealt with that years ago!” Quickly I had to readjust my attitude by focusing on some of the most important lessons I have learned about life and ministry. Here are some things that I had to tell myself…

Create a Compelling Vision

He sat at his clean desk on his first day at the church. A white sheet stared up at him from the desk, like the eye of a Cyclops. “Now what am I supposed to do?” he thought in a George-Costanza-ish moment. “I have all this training, done hundreds of hours of volunteer work. But now I am overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.” Mental paralysis sets in. Where do I start?

There are so many variables. So much to consider when giving direction to a youth ministry but something needs to be done.  It is one thing to have a general philosophy of youth ministry and quite another to implement it. Having a clear vision makes all the difference. Here are some steps for developing and inspiring vision.

The Secret to making Resolutions you can keep! (and a man who ate bicycles!!)

Resolutions

If you have given up on resolutions because they only deliver a sense of failure, I guess you could make easily achievable resolutions like these:

a. Get  out of bed most days of the week if you feel like it
b. Eat junk food when it’s available
c. Use the washroom a few times a day…  🙂

And maybe for some people, these would be a challenge… but if you want to make lasting changes in your life or ministry, there are a few painless secrets that winners get working for them, that you could start using today.

What Running Has Taught Me About Youth Ministry

Every year I am getting older…

…(I know, what a brilliant line). But as I get older I am finding that my fitness is declining rapidly.  To combat this a couple of years ago I started running.  I agree with you, I was not a fan of running, but I am a fan of training for a race.  My wife and I finished our first half marathon this past summer within our goal time.  Now I am starting to train for a full marathon.

As anyone who knows me would say, I am not an elite athlete.  In fact I don’t even consider myself an average athlete anymore.  However, running has taught me some key lessons that I think can help anyone that works in youth ministry.

Finding a Mentor

Need a Mentor?

Wouldn’t it be great to have an older, seasoned mentor who has gone down the road of ministry ahead of you who shares costly pearls of wisdom with you, one to one in a weekly meeting… I bet it would but don’t count on it coming from a senior leader in your church or organization! Frankly, while this is what we would love… it is a lot harder to find than most people will admit… So what can you do to find that coaching, wisdom and encouragement that comes from a mentoring relationship???

Well, I am glad you asked because I have discovered that there are ways to meet that void in my life without paying hundreds for a personal life coach or a personal trainer… In fact here are some mentoring possibilities that have worked and still work for me!

Beating Discouragement

We often feel inadequate for the task of youth ministry

and sometimes wonder if we should give up. I have been there but I have learned 3 massively motivating lessons that I have returned to when I start to wonder why I am doing this. These three quick life-giving lessons have helped me to find strength, vision, and passion to go the distance. The first of these is…