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How To Power Through A Stressful Youth Service

2 · 09 · 17

It’s Thursday, and I am reflecting on last nights youth service. It was stressful as far as the smoothness of the service goes. There are things that I just want to go well and when they do not, well, I start to get overwhelmed, yes even after 26 years.

Here are some of the things that bugged me this particular night.

  • I have new students running sound and the computer. Both are new. Both are middle school. Both have ADD (nuff said).
  • The monitors went out for the band.
  • I had a gazillion announcements (that one is my fault)

I know you’re reading this and thinking, “This is not stressful. I have gang bangers coming to my service; that, is stressful.” I’m with you. What is stressful to me is not stressful to you and vice verses, but I have faced worse; like angry parents, disgruntled church members, flakey kids, and a list of “You Name Its” I’ve had it all, including gangbangers.

All that aside, youth meetings can be stressful depending on our personality and/or how we deal with crisis. In this instance, I must keep in mind that I had just come back from speaking at a youth camp in Florida, so, I might have been  a little wore out and emotionally frayed. Nevertheless, we all find ourselves out of sorts sometimes and have to respond in real time.

Here’s how I survived.

During worship, I went off by myself and sat against the wall.  I did’t pray. I just sang quietly with the band. I had to simply be still and know the God is God.

My message was done. I know that if everything else falls apart, I at least have control over the message. Not the slides, mind you, but the message.

After the service, I posted about what God did not what God didn’t do and called out leaders who did a great job in spite of our circumstances.

So, if you find yourself in the middle of a stressful service, for whatever reason,

I recommend.

Worshipping instead of worrying. I started out as Martha, but thankfully I was driven to becoming Mary and sat at the feet of Jesus. We all have to pause and ask ourselves, “Why am I here?” Yes, we are working,  but we’re also gathered as the Body of Christ and are in need of the same filling and strengthening of the Spirt as everyone else.

Look for what is going right. Yes, I had two middle schoolers running slides and sound  but,  I had 2 middle schooler’s running slides and sound. That’s a win even if they’re not perfect at it and may never be.

I had leaders who stepped up in the midst of the chaos doing what they knew to do. Kinsley, one of my worship leaders exhorted and prayerful challenged our students to enter in spite of the monitor malfunction.

Finally, I reflected and high lighted the positives via social media. Yes, the dumb things still happened but that does not mean I need to exacerbate  them  by rehashing them. I’ll save all my constructive criticism for the my team at our next team meeting. They are the ones who can solve this stuff not the people on my FB, Twitter,  or Instagram.

I hope my experience encourages you in some way. I’d love your feedback so feel free to leave a comment below. Tell me about how you hand stressful times during a youth meeting.

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