youth ministry, youth worker, frustrations

The Frustration of Youth Workers

By Doug Franklin November 8, 2011

I get an uneasy feeling when I am around youth workers. They are seldom settled, like they’re constantly trying to figure out what is next in their life. The older youth guys who have spent 20 plus years in the ministry don’t give me this vibe but there are so few of them, so they don’t affect the meter. I am not totally sure of the reason for this but maybe it has to do with life change. This past weekend, I was with five different youth workers, all different ages and at different places in their ministries, all of them going through change. So managing change has to be part of the youth worker’s world. I don’t think many of them realize that and it leads to frustration. Frustrations can play tricks on your mind or lead you to think that you know more than your senior pastors or church leaders. It can make you think you’re the victim and that every parent is out to get you. After all you are the only one who gets students. Frustration is a wicked bedfellow. So how do we deal with frustration?

1. Realize change is part of life
I feel like I spent my 20’s trying to reach stability. In relationships, finances, and a bunch of other stuff. Not to mention trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. Everyone told me to find stability, but no one told me I probably wouldn’t find it. I just wish someone would have told me searching is a good thing and it doesn’t mean you’re any less spiritual if you don’t know what you’re supposed to do. Chill, listen and gain experiences. Freak out in your thirties.

2. Value learning over leading
Just because you are in a leadership position doesn’t mean you should stop learning. A young learner is more respected than a young leader. Many youth workers are frustrated that they are not respected as a leader. Change your attitude to being one of a learner and this problem is solved.

3. Seek Ye First
What are you seeking? Answer the question because the answer will reveal a lot about you and your mindset. When the answer is …. “the kingdom of God” then everything else will fall into place.

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