This is the ninth post in my Real Youth Pastors Don’t Starve Series, as I attempt to convince you, the local youth worker, that you are an artist. Each post is my take on Jeff Goins book Real Artists Don’t Starve.
Let jump right into this. You must value yourself and the work you do. That’s step one to getting the respect you are look looking for.
Your work matters. The preaching, the teaching, the meetings, and the interactions all coalesce into a body of work called a career. We should respect, and take pride in, our work like a carpenter takes pride in the homes he builds or the chef respects the food he cooks.
Something Chef Robert Irvine used to say on his show, Dinner Impossible, has alway stuck with me, “My name is on this plate.” Your name is on the dish you serve whether you like it or not and reviews will follow.
Everything I serve to students is my take, my interpretation, my prayerful offering of what Scripture says and the youth program is the taco shell that holds all the goodness. I’m serving students, parents, and the congregation, a Youth Ministry Jesus Taco and I want it to be good.
the Rule of Value: the Starving Artist works for free; the Thriving Artist always works for something. As artists, we must value our work before others will. – Jeff Goins Real Artists Don’t Starve
How can we value the work we do?
Say no to right things
Being a servant is not being a slave. We are slaves to Christ and not to man or our church or our Pastor. Our lives and our families are worth more than the ministry we serve. We must value the word No for the sake of our families and, sometimes, for the sake of our souls.
We value what we do by staying in our lane, not over-extending ourselves thereby keeping ourselves emotionally healthy so we can serve students out of a pure and healthy heart.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Now, if you’re a volunteer, who’s the primary youth leader, it’s not a sin to put a price on your time. I know you do youth ministry for the love of kids, but I also know you wish your church or your pastor would appreciate you more for what you do.
Don’t be afraid to turn in receipts and ask for recompense for your gas or taking a kid out to eat. Ask your church to pay for your camp fee or to pay for youth worker conferences you want to go to. If your church doesn’t step up in those areas, they do not value you.
Stop making excuses
Yes, I know you work hard, but part of taking pride in work means not making excuses of why we cannot do our best. Your best is not determined by budget, it’s determined by your will.
God has given us the awesome privilege to serve students. We believe and have faith in God that he will do a great work in them, but we also must believe He’ll do a good work in us as leaders as well.
The respect we give our calling and our gifts increases the respect we’ll receive. If we do not respect our ministry, our time, or gifts, others will not either. The excuses we make for not doing our best, decreases the value and thereby the respect we’ll receive in doing it.
Your time is worth something. The ministry you do is worth something. Don’t let others exploit your gifts and talents. Serve unselfishly, but serve wisely.
If you’re feeling resentment at all, you’re charging too little. – Jeff Goins Real Artists Don’t Starve
Feeling under appreciated can lead to resentment but, by not appropriately valuing the work we do, we bring it on ourselves.
If you’re thinking of volunteering for your church’s youth pastor position, don’t accept these lame reasons a church will not offer something for your time and talent,
‘this will be good experience for you”
‘you can put this on your resume’
“God will bless you”
Yes, God will bless you, and you should give your church the opportunity to be a vehicle of that blessing otherwise you’re just being taken advantage of.
I’ll say it again, the work you do with students matters. Don’t let others diminish it with cheap words or cheap wallets.
One final word of advice as you attempt to put a value on what you do, whether you’re a volunteer, part time, or full time youth worker,
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:13
Not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, doe snot mean we ought not think highly of ourselves at all.
Ninth post in the series: Take Ownership Over Your God Given Talents Or Somebody Else Will