Rooted Resources for the Tired Youth Minister

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Dear weary, burnt-out, stretched-too-thin youth minister,

We see you. Trying to hold it together for the students in your care. Leading what feels like your millionth Zoom call, when all you want to do is gather in person. Wondering if you have what it takes to lead your ministry team, your students, and their families. Its an intense calling in an even more intense season—and we want you to know that you are not alone.

In the resources linked below, our Rooted community reflects on the realities of fatigue, spiritual burnout, and depression that often go unspoken in ministry. We hope their vulnerability will remind you that you have friends for the journey here. Even more, we hope youll be comforted by the Good News of our Lord Jesus, who knows what it is to live and serve in this broken world, and who promises to make it all new.

Hope for the Weary Youth Minister Conference Plenary with Christina Edmondson

Christina Edmondson shares hope for the weary youth minister and parent, walking us through Matthew 11:28-30.

Maybe in this season you feel heavy laden, as though the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. Scripture has good news for you and for me. Gods comforting words for those experiencing burnout call for reliance on and rest in Him, instead of ourselves. He is gentle, and He has compassion for those who are tired.

Theologically, we need to reconcile the culture of sacrificial suffering we see in our faith with another element of Scripture – a culture of Sabbath, rest, grace, and weakness. Jesus, the “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3) also spent many moments resting and recharging for his difficult task. Spiritual disciplines like prayer and solitude were not monastic, Herculean efforts for him, meant to stretch spiritual muscles. Instead they offered moments of sanctuary and communion with his Father. For us, this means that neither hurting teenagers nor crisis situations can justify neglecting our need to restfully commune with God. Our regular need for sleep and renewal reminds us we are finite and not the Messiah our students need.

On this side of the Cross, we can now look back at Christs death and resurrection as a promise of Gods covenant to His people that He will eventually bring life out of death. Depression may feel like death; but there is future life for those who hope in Christ. We may feel shameful that things are not the way they should be, or the way we hope they should be; but Jesus covers our shame and reminds us that one day things will be the way they should be.

All Christians have been commissioned to the work of ministry, which is faithfully making disciples and teaching them to obey. This means that there is in fact work to be done. However, what I am offering is a reminder of grace to the weary minister – the work is not ours to finish, but it is ours to joyfully join. The joy of serving in union with the work of Christ is the knowledge that the work is already finished and will one day be complete.

Hope This Helps: It’s All Worth It by Chelsea Kingston Erickson

When you are under-supported, when you are under fire, when you are lonely or unsure of your calling—remember the God who has already conquered for you in Christ so that you can say, Its all worth it.

Lord Jesus, we could not possibly be more accepted than we already are in you – whether or not we receive validation from our supervisors or from our students. Standing in our place, you were despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:3) in order that the Fathers acceptance might never depart from us.

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