In ministry, it can be hard to separate our worship from our work. We want to ensure that our teens have prayerful experiences, but sometimes that means we lose sight of the beauty of the worship right in front of us. We allow ourselves to be Marthas so our teens and core can have Mary experiences (Luke 10:38-42).
Other times, as we try to keep up with our own spirituality, when we run down to Mass on a break from work, we can still feel like we’re working – at least it happens to me! I find myself at daily Mass or even Eucharistic Adoration occasionally where I can only think about what I need to remember to do or ask Father, or which parishioner either I need to catch after Mass or I think will need to catch me.
Here are a few ways that have helped me turn my work-ship back to worship.
- Take a Mass-cation. It’s like a vacation . . . not from Mass, but from Mass at your own parish. Hearing a priest preach who I have nothing to say to after Mass but “thank you, Father” has helped me to focus more on the homily. This has made getting to daily Mass a little less convenient than walking down the hall before lunch, but it has caused me to plan my day around worship, rather than fitting worship into my day.
- Dedicate a certain aspect of your prayer life to personal intentions only. Yes, we should pray for our teens, and our programs, and our pastors, and our parish. We should also pray for ourselves, for what is going on in our own hearts and minds. When a friend was teaching me the Liturgy of the Hours, he suggested that I offer Night Prayer for my own intention; which I’ve kept to, more or less.
- Make sure to be pursuing prayerful experiences on your own. Don’t wait to go to Confession until you’re offering it to the teens. Don’t wait to spend time in Adoration until the next XLT or retreat. Be intentional about setting aside prayer time that is yours!
- Find an accountability prayer partner. Seek out someone who you can be (painfully) honest with and ask if they’d be willing to hold you accountable to a prayer commitment. Maybe another youth minister nearby or your Life Teen Area Contact.
Question: Have you ever felt like you spend more time work-shiping than worshiping? What are some things that help get you out of the kitchen and put you back at the feet of Jesus?