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Burnout-proof your youth ministry

 by Aaron Helman | @aaronhelman

The average ministry career lasts less than four years.

We don't like to think about that, though, and when we do, we usually think this:

That can't happen to me!

But it can, and now too many good youth workers are selling lattes instead of doing what God built them to do.

The bottom line is that every single one of us is susceptible to burnout.

I started Smarter Youth Ministry because I was tired of hearing burnout stories.

I was tired of hearing horror stories about my friends who crashed and burned, then left the church hurt and angry.

I was tired of hearing about churches, four years later, still fighting through the pain they all experienced when the youth minister left on bad terms.

Most of all, I was tired of hearing about students who'd been through one too many youth minister cycles. Now they struggle to trust the Church and its leaders and they don't want to be a part of it.

If left unchecked, burnout will ruin your life, your ministry, and your Church. Don't let that happen.

If you aren't working against burnout, it's probably working against you.

The most important thing you can do is to understand that burnout is real, and that you are a real candidate for it.

I've been studying burnout and talking to current and former youth workers to figure out what all of us can do to burnout-proof our ministries and our lives.

Read through these posts to learn what burnout looks like, the real damage it can cause, and what you can do to keep it from happening to you.

The real cost of burnout
This is serious stuff with long-lasting and Kingdom-impacting consequences. This is why you don't want it to happen to you.

This is what burnout feels like
The true story from one of your colleagues who ran herself and her ministry into the ground. Seven years later, she's barely participating in the church.

Will you be doing ministry a year from now?
It's a marathon, not a sprint. If you're moving at an untenable pace, it's time to slow down. You'll finish the race stronger if you don't collapse in a heap at mile seven.

How I spend my day off
The majority of youth workers don't Sabbath well. But here's the thing - the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. It's not a recommendation. It's a command. Here's how to take a day off.

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