As full time Youth Pastors, taking care of yourself and your issues is a big big deal. How many of us are actually saying “NO” to the 90% of the stuff that crosses our plate? AND can you respectfully respond back to people’s disappointments and expectations because you said “No” and you let them down? Do our outlook calendars/PDA’s/IPHONES really reflect that our spouse and family are our primary ministry and that they need us? Our time only belongs to us, no one else. We always have the choice to say “Yes” or “No” and have the option to leave. We need to work hard and keep our priorities and boundaries. Also if you are single, you will be the most taken advantage of person in church.
It is essential EVERY full time youth worker get professional psychological help. Unfortunately, your accountability group does not count as professional help. We have to dig up the wounds, the pain, the hurt, and the disappointments we have experienced in our life, especially as a teenager. We have to realize our parent’s divorce is not our fault.
The reality is the deeper you go, the more painful and hurtful it gets. We have to ask the difficult questions of: Why do I get so upset with so many people? Why are people annoyed with me? Why does depression follow me? What about my high school experience pisses me off? Who has hated you? Why do I react to everyone I interact with? Why do I have anxiety attacks? Why am I always doubting myself? Why do I feel really insecure and uncomfortable around people–especially people I do not know very well? Why cannot I fully articulate myself?
Getting to the core of your soul activates a journey that challenges us in becoming the child of God who He created us to be. If we believe that God affirms and loves who we are, then it does not matter what anyone else thinks about you and your job performance.
Soul care is an ongoing authentic process of getting to know who you are. If we do not know who we are, we put the people around us in a very awkward position–especially if we are the Youth Pastor spiritually leading kids and your volunteer staff.
Make an appointment and go to a GREAT professional, licensed counselor (by the way a counselor is not your friend or someone you hang out with). Take a retreat. Spend a couple of days in silence and jjournal about all of the feelings you experience and develop an action plan on how to address your feelings. Take a day off and do nothing, and see what happens. It is so hard to look deep inside yourself. My experience has been that few people do the long, hard work of the soul. Personal reflection and action will ignite soul improvements.
Our issues follow us where ever we go. We need to do ourselves a favor and everyone else a favor. We need to address and deal with our issues, so our issues do not damage the students God has entrusted us with and hurt the people who are very close to us. How many of us know a Youth Pastor who ineffectively reacted to a student because of his or her issues?
It is amazing just the other day I realized that my life wants to keep the adrenaline rush going and that I am only really happy when I am going all the time. This probably affirms the fact why I love energy drinks and need them everyday. Do not worry, Jesus is working on and in me.