Beat Burnout: 27 Habits Youth Leaders Need

beat burnout
There are plenty of reasons that youth workers burn out, and more than a few horror stories. However, the best work a youth worker can do is long-term youth work. So stick to it! In the meantime, here are 27 habits to get into to help you avoid the burnout trap!
  1. Surround yourself with good people who love you and don’t report to you.
  2. Make sure you are a worshipping part of the community—so take regular Sundays off from commitments.
  3. Have a separate line-manager, pastor and mentor.
  4. Take your days off. Always. No exceptions.
  5. Plan your holidays in advance.
  6. Talk to God regularly like He’s an old friend who desperately wants the best for you.
  7. Have hobbies. Commit to them as a valuable part of your life, not simply extras ‘when there’s time for them.’
  8. Give. Generously and a little bit ridiculously. Don’t wait to give.
  9. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Commit to growing that above all else.
  10. Grow in love for the Word—as a relationship with your dad in heaven, not as a ministry prep thing.
  11. Married? Make intentional space for intimacy. Explore, make it fun!
  12. Kids? Try and be more crazy than them when you play. Really *play* with them.
  13. Dance when no one’s around.
  14. Plan prayer & reflection times into your diary. Don’t plan meetings over them. Write them into the calendar.
  15. Commit to a couple of conferences and retreats each year. Make sure you take them as additions to holidays, not replacements.
  16. Watch TV. Read books. Play games. Laugh lots.
  17. Develop healthy sleep, eating, exercise and hygiene patterns.
  18. Don’s take yourself too seriously. Seriously.
  19. Remember they’re God’s kids, and it’s His ministry… It’s not yours. God was in their life before you were, and will continue to be after they/you leave.
  20. Also remember you’re not a surrogate parent.
  21. Give yourself a pass when things sometimes suck.
  22. Remember that you’re just one of God’s tools, not the best/only one. (Num. 22:21ff right?)
  23. Have big healthy poos.
  24. Finally remember that Jesus might return tomorrow.
  25. Finally finally remember that you’ll be in heaven one day, and in a 1,000 years, what seems monumental and stressful now will pale in significance when you spend all your days in utter delight worshipping around the throne of Jesus.
  26. Eat cake.

This article originally appeared here.

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Tim Gough
Currently living with my Californian wife in the beautiful surrounds of North Wales, I can often be found in sea front coffeeshops with my faithful MacBook, hammering away at one of my many ongoing projects.