Let’s face it, there can be no less thankful role in parish ministry than the youth leader or coordinator. With comments from parents asking you to do more and preach less to parish staff members wondering what you do all day, it can be a thankless role. I really don’t know of many youth leaders who are doing this for the thanks, but with so many people at times questioning your every move it still can make a negative impact with your confidence.
Here are 3 things if you do them for a week, they can double your confidence in youth ministry:
1. Double the amount of time you currently spend with teens.
When we spend more time with teens as youth leaders it energizes us and gives us more confidence. You might be wondering how you can add more time with teens with all the responsibilities you have. Look at your schedule and schedule the additional time with teens first. If you do this one step consistently for a week, you will be amazed at how much better you are feeling about ministry at your parish.
2. Read that day’s Mass readings and then attend daily Mass for a week.
After Mass take a minute, pray and jot down in your journal one word or theme from the readings or Mass that you want to live that day. Daily Mass is a great source of inspiration and direction for those of us who serve the young Church. This is one sure way to connect with Scripture, be inspired by the Holy Spirit and to benefit from the added graces of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ that day. I’ve yet to go to Mass on a weekday that when I walked out of the Church, I was sorry I had spent the time going to Mass.
3. Have meaningful conversations with three people whose opinions matter.†
Have a chat with your pastor, DRE, or whoever you directly report to. Let them know about the good things happening with youth ministry in the parish. Ask for their feedback and get a sense of areas that they see going well as well as areas that need to have more focus. Having these type of conversations will let you know where you stand and will take away that “walking on egg shells” sense that many youth leaders feel because of not having these meaningful conversations.
So that’s it — 3 steps that could dramatically change your next week and beyond. Are you in?