Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I’ve made in Youth Ministry

Inspired by Marko's post
Here are some I've made.

10. Church van. Speeding, minor dents … just doesn’t do justice to tell your leaders – the van is broken. There was one time I didn’t check the tires and we had a blowout while coming home from King’s Dominion. Safety is the key to the van. My last ministry – I made sure to have the van prepared before leaving on a trip. Getting the van stuck in a ditch wasn't fun either.

9. Poor Communication. I really think when I first got into youth ministry – I knew it all. I didn’t use the parents, or meet with them enough. Sometimes if I knew that it, it could have saved me some headaches.

8. Poor judgment. Afterall no one will know, right? Stupid pranks and issues leads to hurt feelings. Sometimes I hurt not only others’ feelings, but my own as well.

7. Messy games. Sure they were great and sounded good, but when one kid almost chokes (Chubby Bunny and Yes I played that) and another nearly hurls, (Think Human milkshake) time to rethink your games.

6. Language. Sure slang, and you want to be cool. But there are some things I’ve said I wish I never did.

5. Losing your cool. Never easy to overcome when someone sees you losing your cool. I’ve been ticked off over some pretty silly stuff looking back.

4. Lack of preparation. Whether it is a lesson, or winging it. Don’t do it. Plan for the long term. The benefits are worth it. I remember for an all nighter – I thought I could stay up all night and then drive the church van back to the church from 2hrs away …boy I nearly fell asleep with a van full of teens ..not good. (So next time we brought drivers who slept the nite while we did the lockin)

3. Unforgiveness. I’ve allowed grudges, hurtful feelings, and brokenness get in the way of my relationship with Jesus. And a lot of the times the hardest person to forgive was myself. I’m learning to embrace joy, grace, love, and forgiveness more. My life is messy, but I’m glad I’m a forgiven sinner.

2. Conflict. I try to avoid conflict. I’m a people pleaser. I think back on the ministries I’ve had and if I would of resolved some of the issues I might have been better for it. I wish I knew about conflict resolution earlier on … and am still learning about it. Afterall you’re either in the midst of conflict, coming out of it, or getting ready to enter conflict. It is all a part of life – and especially ministry.

1. Not practicing the Spiritual Disciplines enough. There have been times I’ve focused more on getting ready for Sunday’s lessons, rather than getting ready for what God is trying to tell me. I think some of the stupidest things I’ve done is waste a lot of time in doing other stuff rather than getting to know the God of the Universe. If I’ve done more I’ve be more prepared, prayerful, and planning for what God wants me to do, rather than telling God what I think He should do. One focuses on Him, the other focuses on self. I’ve been too self focused at times, and am glad that is changing.

So What stupid things have you done? Learned from them?

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