Is There Hope For The Un-Relational Youth Pastor?
We all know that youth ministry and ministry in general is driven by relationships, but what about those of us who are not anti-social but growing relationally challenged? I will say that early on in my life I felt like I had to be the life of the party and entertain everyone around me, now that I am older I don’t feel the need to do so, but I look at relationships, especially with young people differently.
I grew up an only child, so I am used to having alone time. In fact, the older I get, the more I like to be alone. I like to read, study, you know, all those things many of did not like when were younger. How has my relationship style changed with students and just about everyone else? Here are a few things I am practicing:
- Shorter burst of relational time but more meaningful.
- Say things that matter and skip the fluff.
- Longer periods of quiet and reflection so when I do jump in to the thick of it I am charged and ready for it.
- More texting (short encouragements).
- Less Facebook time (especially chatting)
- More meal time with students.
- Not feeling guilty if I am not always there.
- Letting others step into the spot light.
These are not just tips from a guy who is growing older in his profession, they are nuggets for anyone who thinks they have to be “on” all the time. I don’t think am losing a step in the area of relationships but as choosing my steps more wisely.
Living The Dream - Paul Turner
I’ve written and re-written so may of these, I have decided to try and sum up my ministry in 6 words:
Loves To See Youth Pastors Succeed.
That’s what I’m about. It’s because of my 29 year love affair with God and my 20 year infatuation with youth ministry that I want help you and your youth ministry succeed. Sometimes it takes one good idea, sometimes a few. If I can help you through resources, speaking, or training please do not hesitate to call and ask questions 205-260-7229, tweet me at PaulTurnerToo, or catch me on Facebook.
I've always wanted to be a youth pastor and minster to teens at all levels. Youth pastors, along with camp counselors, have been my heroes. I have been ministering to students now for 20 years and started a free resource sight called The Disciple Project at www.thediscipleproject.net. Come by and say hello.
I live in Birmingham, AL. with my wife and thee great kids, two of which are teenagers.