doing it all (7 deadly sins of youth ministry)

I’ve got something to prove. In the world of church-work, I’m new at this and I need to make a splash. I need to be noticed. Therefore, the more I do, the more I can produce; and the more I produce, the better I will seem to those around me.

7 deadly sins title

There’s a lot wrong with the opening paragraph. I hope that’s painfully obvious.

Unfortunately, this is an often unspoken reality in the lives of youth workers. We are often seen at the bottom of the totem pole of church hierarchy, “serving our time” as youth pastors before we can graduate to a more glamorous, higher paying senior pastor position (check out this blog post by Amy Jacober on this very topic!). Even if you’re not in youth ministry as a stepping stone (and I pray most youth pastors today are not), this mentality brings with it the often subconscious thought that we have to prove ourselves worthy of our calling.

I’ve been guilty of this, and I’ve seen people guilty of this. So what do we do?

I think we have to come to the realization that we’re not Jesus. I think we need to understand that being good at a lot of things keeps us from being great at a few things. Less than ten lines into the first chapter of The Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley spells out what he calls the “two best-kept secrets of leadership,” which are:

1. The less you do, the more you accomplish.

2. The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.

7 deadly sins content

If we try to do it all, our underlying goal is to please people instead of God. In trying to do it all, we take on roles that don’t necessarily maximize our gifts and calling when we could be delegating to others and thereby helping them fully live out their own calling. Not only have we hindered ourself, we’ve hindered others.

If we acknowledge that we’re not Jesus, release control, and involve others in the mission of seeing youth experience the life-transforming power of God, we accomplish more.

Live out your calling, accomplish great things, and don’t do it all.

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