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Youth Pastor Burnout: Unavoidable?

Enjoyed reading Jeremy’s post over on REYouthPastor talking about burnout and youth ministry. He asks some good questions, and I’d love to read some of your thoughts on the subject or burnout. Here’s a clip of his stuff, head over there to read the whole thing and comment if you would like:

Pain is part of the youth pastor job description.  Does experiencing pain and exhaustion season a youth pastor? One of the biggest negative aspects of being a youth pastor is that working with students stunts our emotional and life growth.

Many youth pastors try so hard to dodge the “burn out” bullet.

We try to take more days off, vacations, see a psycho-therapist, take a monthly spiritual retreat, and pursue spiritual formation but it seems like we are only left with more exposed pain, exhaustion, and burn out.  There is this belief that if you burn out, you are a bad youth pastor because apparently you didn’t take enough days off or establish healthy boundaries.  I think the exact opposite is true.

America’s best youth pastors are the youth workers who have learned and persevered through their many painful and hurtful church experiences.  The youth pastors that persevere make it, but the youth pastors that live in the past and become jaded don’t make it.

My point – the best youth pastors are the youth pastors who burn out or get burned because very early on they learn to forgive and to let go.

JG

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jgriffin@churchleaders.com'
Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!