Hello, everyone, and thanks for checking out the new blog!
This blog covers youth ministry, leadership, and church life. I will put things here that are useful for anybody in a position of leadership in youth ministry: whether full-time youth leaders, volunteer adult leaders, student leaders, or any minister-leader in the church. Much of what is posted here will have applications beyond youth ministry and church life, too.
I'll post some of my own reflections and writings, as well as links and excerpts from other sources I think folks would find helpful.
Let me know what you think by commenting on a given post! To do this, just click on the bottom of the post where it says "Comments."
To begin the discussion, I wanted to post my brief review of a book called What Matters Most by Doug Fields. If you've read it, I'd love to hear your feedback, which you can post as a comment.
Fields has written a short, to-the-point, practical yet reflective book on why learning to say, "No," and then practicing saying it, is essential to staying healthy in a ministry leadership position. Although Fields is a vocational youth minister and writes with vocational youth ministers as his primary audience, this book applies to anyone in ministry--paid or unpaid, full-time, part-time, or volunteer--and to anyone who is busy.
Early on he writes, "I want to challenge you to say no more often so you can say yes to what matters most" (18). Fields points out some warning signs that can help you discern if you're addicted to busyness, or if you're putting doing ministry above loving God (for example, by consistently counting the time you spend preparing a talk or small group lesson as your own personal devotional time). He also talks about practical action steps you can take to bring things back under control.
Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). The temptation is always there for the minister to do more, be more, accomplish more, and say "yes" more. Yet as you do this, you risk damaging your first love: your relationship with Christ. Fields's short book is a call back to that first love with a clear escape route from any busyness, overworking, or people-pleasing that may have entrapped you.
Those of you who have read either the book or this post, what are warning signs you've learned to look out for as you fight busyness? What has God taught you in this area?