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How to Overcome Doubt in Ministry

A few months ago, we launched a young adult ministry at our church. This was our third attempt at creating one during my tenure. The previous two attempts fell apart before we even got started. As the starting date got closer, I remember feeling a huge amount of doubt and fear overwhelm me.  

Would anyone come?  

Did I advertise it enough?  

What happens if we fail again?

When it was go time I was relieved as young adults walked in the door that night. Those fears and doubts were all for nothing.

If you are in youth ministry, you will face moments of doubt.

Some of these doubts will be easy to brush off. However, many of them can be crippling. Doesn’t matter how big or small, it’s important to face your doubts and move through them. Here are a few thoughts on how to do this:

Building Margin

Doubt usually emerges during times of stress. To combat those times, slow your life down and build margin. With a calm mind you can recognize Satan’s attack. It’s easy to question yourself when life is moving quick, margin will give you the time to answer all of them. 

Listening to Others

Do not hold on to your fears and doubts. Bring them to people who can help you dispel the lie or address the concerns a doubt might bring. Surround yourself with wisdom and wise council and you’ll know how to handle the uncertainty.

Accepting Failure

One of the worst things doubt can do is hold us back from doing something big. Embrace failure as an option and you’ll never be afraid to take risks, dream big and take on any challenge.

Trusting in God

God will never let you down. You know that; however, feeling it 100 percent of the time is the battle. Doubt will tell you not to trust in His power, which can be costly. If God is calling you to youth ministry, He will show you how to provide for your family and grow with your pastor. Trusting in God is the single most important thing you need to work on to overcome any doubt you might face.

There is no way of avoiding doubt; you need to face it head on. Acknowledge it, name it and build a system that will help you move through it. If you can overcome doubt, you can overcome your fears. And a dangerous youth ministry is a bold one.

How do you combat doubt? 

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Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met his wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, he was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.