Recharge After Summer
Summer amps up our busyness as student ministers. It’s packed full of special events, camps, and oftentimes multiple mission trips. I just returned back from my most recent mission trip, which took me away from my family for ten days. Add to that a mission trip at the start of the summer and two weeks of camp, and it shouldn’t surprise you that my battery is low. Maybe, like me, you feel wiped out by the summer. But with the need to jump right into back to school bashes and fall planning, most of us feel like we have little opportunity to recharge.
“With the need to jump right into back to school bashes and fall planning, most of us feel like we have little opportunity to recharge.”
With our batteries running low, it’s easy to get discouraged, frustrated, burnt out, or even depressed. So what do we do? Try a couple of these ideas:
1. Take time off.
It’s time for a break, and hopefully your church is sensitive to the fact that you just invested a lot of extra time into student ministry over the course of the summer. Be willing to ask your pastor/elders/board for a couple of extra days—not vacation days but days to compensate for all the extra time you have been gone. Remember that if someone hasn’t been to summer camp, they likely have no idea that it’s the equivalent of two weeks worth of work time.
2. Schedule family time.
As you take time off, be sure to spend time with your family. They are your number one ministry, and they’ve had to sacrifice time with you while you have been investing into students. Go to a park, go to the beach, or hit up an amusement park. If you are single spend some extra time with friends or with the people you love who help recharge your battery.
3. Do something you enjoy.
What is your hobby? What is it that you really enjoy doing? Take time for whatever it is that helps you to relax and have fun. Invite your pastor to play and game of golf with you. Say that the only ground rule, besides the rules of the game, is that you don’t talk about ministry. Remember, God has uniquely wired you and somewhere within you—even for the workaholics—God has given you the ability to enjoy life.
4. Spend time alone with God.
We spend a lot of time in the Bible prepping for messages and lessons, and it’s easy to slip away from having time with God for our own spiritual health. Plan a short solo retreat with just you, your Bible, a journal, and God. Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and shield.” Our strength is found in our relationship with Christ. You and I both will be more effective in student ministry and in serving our church if we are well rested and rejuvenated after our busy summer before we launch into another busy school year.
Your rest is critical to the health of your ministry. What will you do to recharge your battery?
About the Author
Andy Lawrenson has been in student ministry for 26 years both as a volunteer and paid staff member. Andy and his wife, Misha, have been married for 28 years and have three children: a son in middle school and twin eight-year-olds, a boy and girl. Andy loves getting together with other youth pastors to talk about… Read More