Dealing with Discouragement
Discouragement is part of youth ministry. Whether it’s students who turn away from God, struggles with church leadership or dealing with a parent who is out to get you, discouragement will be part of the job. I guess it’s because we work in a people ministry and people tend to hurt others. So how can we deal with discouragement when it comes our way? We really only have two choices: one we can blame others, being a victim and becoming bitter; or we can grow from the discouragement. Three keys to grow through discouragement:
1. Find Truth
Write down what people are saying about you. After each statement ask yourself what is true about what they are saying. Be honest with yourself; there will usually be bits of truth wrapped in hate for you to squeeze out. These bits of truth could help you grow. Deal with them; make changes in your behavior. This will bring maturity and growth.
2. Seek Support
Ask a mentor to walk the road closely with you as you go through discouragement. Be transparent and let them challenge you in your walk with Christ and in your ministry. Discouragement is a great time to have a mentor. You will be more open to share and take advice, not to mention having someone to keep you out of bitterness.
3. Practice Solace
Spend lots of time alone with God. Allow him through his word to speak to you about who you are and how he has wired you to serve. This is very important for you to move out of discouragement. You need to hear the creator talk about his love for you and his desire to use you in his mission to reach the world.
About the Author
Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners who never leave their side. Doug grew up in… Read More