For some of you it’s the day after a youth meeting. I hope it went well, but if it didn’t don’t beat yourself up, there’s always next week. Let me offer a few Day After Youth Meeting recovery tips regardless of how your meeting went
Don’t do anything youth ministry related
This may not be possible, but do your best to minimize it. Separating yourself from the work of youth ministry gives you time to focus on you, the youth worker. If you have to do follow up, do that and then go find something else to do. Even if your youth meeting was great, take a moment, be thankful for it and move on. Dwelling on past successes can keeps you from growing in your craft.
Grab a book and go hide somewhere. Leave your phone at home. Hang out at a coffee shop or library. Do your favorite hobby or go hang with friends. Go for a run or go to the movies. Create some space to enjoy your life. The work will be there when you get back.
If something comes across your mind that would make the next meeting better, jot it down, get it out of your head and take a look at your notes after you’ve spent some time away. I include a note section in My Youth Meeting Playbook so you can write down a few ideas right after the youth meeting.
Feed Your Soul
You’ve just spent yourself on behalf of your youth meeting, it’s time to restore what you spent. This is like drinking gatorade after a long run or Body Armor after a workout. You can’t give what you don’t have and if you do not refill, you put yourself at risk. It’s easy to know that you need to refuel after a tough night, but harder to recognize after a great night. In fact the better the night, the more you should feed your own soul before you get to proud of yourself.
“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”
― George Carlin
Youth Ministry is your job not your life. Regardless of how your youth meeting went, you went home to a family, a spouse a pet or a fridge of left over lasagna. It’s all good. Your value is not in how well the youth meeting went. That’s the win. God loves you no matter what.
You can always improve
If you are doing something you are not good at or new to, you can get better, even if it’s by a centimeter. Your college degree was not a declaration of your mastery over a subject, it was more of a thank you for spending all your money with us.
Improvement is a required human skill whether you want to be a better human being or a better youth pastor. Focus on improving not on the problem.
Where can you get better? Speaking? Programming? Relationships? Team Building? If you do not invest in yourself, no one is going to do it for you. Better is a decision, a mindset and requires honesty, hard work and commitment. Find a mentor, read a book, listen to a podcast. Get better.
Have a short memory
There’s no sense in dwelling on things that didn’t work. If you love your students, they’ll forgive your short-comings. Students are showing up to be loved not dazzled. This week is over, next week is ahead; start getting a vision of what next week could be rather than what last week could have been.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
If you need more help, check out my podcast Youth Ministry in Motion, the podcast that keeps you motivated and your youth ministry moving forward.
If you really, really need help, check out My Monthly Mentor, a monthly gathering of youth workers supporting one another.