It’s one of the unspoken truths of being involved in ministry: The personal spiritual walk of the individual can often suffer as a result of doing ministry. For the full-time youth pastor, you have staff meetings and whatever responsibilities your position demands.
- There’s the administrative burden of running your youth ministry: coordinating volunteers, keeping up with your rolls, managing your budget, making any contacts, etc.
- There’s the ministry “nuts and bolts” aspect of your vocation: keeping up with curriculum, preparing lessons or talks, teaching and discipling, and so on.
- Add to all of this the relational aspect: pouring into students, their parents and not to mention other key adults, whether they are your volunteers or other staff members, etc.
- And I haven’t even mentioned family yet …
Bivocational youth pastors have many of these same responsibilities with the added pressure of maintaining a separate job …
When do you have time for your own personal spiritual enrichment?
The truth is that in most cases, you have no time. To stay spiritually charged, you must make time. And that is the purpose of this post.
Here are some tips I have learned over the years that have helped me ensure my spiritual reserves are full:
Discipline is the foundation of any attempt to recharge you batteries. The pace of a minister’s life is draining. You need to draw a line in the sand and say, “Something changes today.” You have to have the discipline to make that statement, and the discipline to follow through.
Come Up With a Plan
Discipline is the foundation. But coming up with a plan is HUGE in recharging your spiritual batteries. Good plans usually equal success. Maybe you commit to studying through a specific theme (love, forgiveness, temptation, etc.), or you want to improve on and add to the verses you have committed to memory, or you feel the need to have a more committed prayer life. Prayerfully consider how you will address your spiritual needs and make a plan to follow through.
Feed Your Weakness
Let me explain this one. When I am feeling drained spiritually, I seek to address the deficits in my spiritual life. My personality leans toward the analytical, knowledge-driven side of our faith. I am not naturally inclined toward the emotive aspects. For me, being intentional about recharging my spiritual batteries means focusing on my heart (my weakness), not my head (my strength).
So, when I am recharging, I’ll spend more time praying through the psalms. I will listen to more praise music than I normally do (and really seek God through the experience). I will make it a point to be more worshipful in my prayer life, more contemplative of what is going on around me. I find that this oftentimes awakens a part of my spiritual life that I otherwise neglect.