Posted on 4 Comments

How to Move from Surviving to Thriving

Stress is an inescapable part of youth ministry, of life really. But when that stress takes over your life, when that stress forces you into a constant survival mode,when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore, it’s not okay anymore.

No matter if you’re a full time youth pastor or combining a paid job with a role as volunteer in youth ministry, it can get overwhelming to try and do it all. You want to spend time with God. You want to spend time with your family. You want to spend time with students. You want to get stuff done. And somewhere, sometimes, you’d also like to breathe and have some down time. But how?

If you feel at times like you’re drowning, you’re not alone. Many youth workers struggle with stress and being overworked, and I used to be one of them. I was in full-on survival mode for years, until I had a scary wake-up call that made me realize how much I was sacrificing: my health, my relationships and friendships, even my relationship with God. After that, things changed and with some effort, I created a more healthy life rhythm. And I want that for you as well.

You’re not called to survive in youth ministry. You’re called to thrive.

There’s a huge difference between surviving and thriving.

Surviving means stress, anxiety, struggling to keep your head above water.

Surviving means spiritual drought and guilt attacks over shortchanging God, your family, or yourself.

Surviving means wearing yourself out, constantly being tired and overwhelmed.

Thriving means having your priorities in order: your family, God, your friends, rest, your health, and youth ministry.

Thriving means a life rhythm that is sustainable for the long run, not a crazy pace that you’ll never be able to keep up for long.

Thriving means being where God wants you to be, doing what God wants you to do, and being at peace with it all.

But how do you move from surviving to thriving? It’s not easy. It requires facing your choices, your priorities, and your habits and changing these where necessary. It also means being honest with yourself and what’s working in your life—and what is not. But it’s so worth it.

Over the years, I went through a journey of moving from surviving to thriving. I read tons of books, articles, and blog posts on priorities, on becoming more effective and productive. I tried various methods, approaches, and tools to see which worked in youth ministry and which didn’t, but also to see what fit my style and personality. The result was that I transformed the way I worked and became way more productive, while actually working fewer hours. I created more margin in my life to spend with my family and friends, and established a healthy rhythm where rest was a crucial element.

Effective Youth Worker coverThe Effective Youth Worker: Proven Strategies to Go from Surviving to Thriving, my new book, shows you what I’ve learned in that journey and how you can apply it to your life. It will challenge your perspective on stress and help you find a sustainable rhythm for your personal life and your role in youth ministry, whether you’re a volunteer or on staff at a church or or organization.

The first part of the book will inspire you to focus on the most important things in your life and in your ministry. It will help you develop a clear vision for who you want to be and what you want to achieve, both in life and in your ministry.

The second part of the book shares dozens of practical tools and strategies to become more effective in reaching your goals and more efficient in what you spend your time on. These valuable tips will shave hours off your workweek and help eliminate big time wasters. Not all of them will fit your personality and style and that’s okay. By experimenting you can discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

What you learn from The Effective Youth Worker is not a quick fix; I’m not gonna lie. You’ll have to do the hard work of examining yourself and your life and apply the principles and tools from the book. At times that will be frustrating and challenging, because changing ingrained habits always is. But this book hands you all the information and tools you need to make the changes necessary. And you and I both know it will be worth it.

It’s time to thrive!

Where to Buy

The Effective Youth Worker is for sale through all your favorite online retailers for just $6.99, GBP 4.99 or EUR 5.99:

Smashwords: The Effective Youth Worker

Amazon US: The Effective Youth Worker

Amazon UK: The Effective Youth Worker

And also available on all other Amazon stores, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks etc.

Buy the book today to starts transforming your life from surviving into thriving!

Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “How to Move from Surviving to Thriving

  1. thank you Rachel for the inspirational words, your words are really keeping uplifted. may GOD BLESS

  2. please Rachel i do not have any training concerning youths even though i was entrusted with the work of advising youths all the way from local church up to Dioceses leve, i really need some tips. I hold Diploma in information science (Library) and working with Ministry of Health Kenya. your advise will be very important to me. thank in advance and b Blessed

    1. Dear Florence, first of all: thank you so much for taking on such an awesome responsibility. God has entrusted you with a lot of responsibility, so I can imagine you wanting to learn more. Just to encouyrage you: I did not have any formal training either when I started in youth ministry. I learned by reading a lot, trying things, asking questions, learning from others, etc. And above all: by keeping a teachable spirit. There’s a ton of resources on my site, including a series we recently starting on building a youth ministry from scratch. Just search on key words. But there are other great blogs where you can find much, like the Download Youth Ministry blog, YouthWork Journal, and many others. But if you have any specific questions you’d like to see answered, or issues you’re struggling with, let me know and I’ll try to cover these on this blog! May God bless you richly friend as you do His work.

  3. Thank you for sharing this encouraging article! This is exactly what I needed to hear and I think it could be really beneficial for other youth ministry leaders and church members to read this post. There are many Biblical truths packed into this article, and it’s inspired me to work on my future Sunday school lessons even harder to make youth ministry as strong as possible.

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