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Make the Most of Your Summer

By Doug Franklin May 24, 2021

Summer is a great time to rest and relax in the wake of a busy ministry year. But I want to encourage you to think differently about your summer and yourself. Right now is a great time to prepare yourself for the best year of ministry you have ever had. Let me encourage you with three initiatives for your own personal development.

Find a Ministry Mentor

I am often surprised by how many youth workers are trying to make it on their own. They either don’t have someone to speak truth into their lives or they don’t want it. This is a huge mistake. When I was a youth pastor I worked at three different churches, yet one church experience stands out from the other two because at one church I had men that mentored me. They asked me tough questions and worked through problems. They had both been youth pastors earlier in life and their experience made the difference for me. They encouraged me to take risks and they helped me evaluate the content of my program. They made sure Christ was at the center of my plans and that I was growing personally.

Don’t try and walk the road alone. Get some people around you that have a desire to mentor and have a heart for your ministry. Give them permission to ask the hard questions. Here are three tips for finding a mentor. Look for someone who is:

  1. Experienced in your field of ministry
  2. In love with your potential, not who you are now
  3. Disciplined to discover what needs to change

Develop a Prayer Journal

Personal spiritual growth can make your ministry year great. Your group will grow as you grow. How can you lead a group of students before God if you don’t know the way there? A prayer journal is an effective and exciting way to encounter God in a new and fresh way. Prayer comes alive as we track with God. The best thing about a prayer journal is it gives you a chance to hangout with God. As you pray and listen for His response you have a chance to sit in His presence and new things come to mind. You’ll be encouraged by what He is saying and how you can apply it to your life. To linger in God’s presence is to know life at the best level.

Visit 5 Churches

Take some time this summer and visit 5 churches that are totally different than your church. Whether this is in-person or through their website or social media, see what is working for them and what is not. Take the youth worker out of coffee and pick his/her brain. Ask tons of questions and don’t judge; just try and learn. After each visit, journal about what you heard and how it could apply to your ministry. Ask God to reveal new ideas to you and let Him give a vision for the coming year!

About the Author

Doug Franklin

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