We all know that part-time ministry really doesn’t exist. It is simply a reason to pay a minister less money while the minister tries to be effective in juggling another job in the mix to make ends meet. Having served as a part-time youth minister for almost three years, I have experienced the juggle of part-time youth ministry. As someone who has survived the juggle prior to God opening up a door to full time ministry, I want to share some advice on juggling well.
Prioritize What Is Important
It is easy for ministry to become your entire life. The part-time youth minister cannot let ministry take over their entire life. Another juggling ball in part-time youth ministry for me was completing my seminary education. In order to finish the degree that I desired to complete, there were times when I had to leave things that I wanted to do in my ministry to the side in order to accomplish my goals in other areas of life. This is a challenging thing to do because so often we tend to associate our own spirituality as connected to our ministry success or failure. We must realize that our standing before God is based on Christ’s work on our behalf at the cross rather than our own success or performance in our ministries.
Make Lists of Ideas for Later
As a part-time youth minister dreams of ministry opportunities, it is important to make idea lists for later. We must be intentional about choosing the best things rather than merely the good things in order to make sure the best does not get pushed to the side by the good. These best things are things that should be done immediately while the good things are things that you can address when your life or ministry slows down. Writing these ideas down allows you to have goals and dreams for the future without letting these goals and dreams take over all of your ministry time. God gives us visions for today and visions for the future. We must prayerfully seek Him to see which category our visions and dreams fall into.
Build a Team to Minister Alongside You
Ministry, like the Christian life, is not a solo sport. As a part-time minister, it is important to build a strong ministry team around you to help in effectively ministering to your students. This team will be a source of partnership and encouragement to you as you live in the tension of the part-time ministry juggle. This team should be equipped and empowered to lead in the ministry as co-ministers alongside you. A good team will take some of the stress out of the part-time youth ministry juggle and make the work more manageable.
Realize You Cannot Do It Alone
You cannot do it alone. In order to effectively minister to students, you must have the Holy Spirit minister to and through you. It is only by the Holy Spirit’s work and power that a youth ministry can be successful. Ministers must be intentional to seek God to sustain and lead them in the ministry and allow the Holy Spirit to minister through them. This requires prioritizing your devotional and prayer life. In the part-time youth ministry juggle, it is easy for your personal time with Jesus to be one of the balls that you drop, but it is only by His strength in our weakness that we are able to minister.
As someone who has survived the part-time youth ministry juggle, I want to encourage you that there are seasons for everything and that the God who called you to the work will be the One who supplies and sustains you through the work! What is some advice that you have for other part-time youth ministers?