I’ve had the pleasure of spending over 20 years of youth ministry, In that time I’ve been a part of 8 ministries ranging from church’s to youth residential facilities. Some have been actual jobs, but most have been as a lay-worker, so I can’t really say I’ve led them, but the principles are the same. The reasons for leaving were varied, some of them good reasons, some because of job transfers, some for moving out of town, one was because the position was eliminated, and in one case, well, it was an invitation to leave…..Kind of like God’s skillet to the back of the head that it was time to move on to something else. Most of the ministries I’ve left have been on good terms, so it’s important that when you feel the Lord’s leading to leave it’s important to listen and go about it prayerfully, because if you wait for the “skillet” method, the leaving may be more awkward then intended. Enjoy the article
Since January, my wife and I have been praying through God’s will for our life and ministry. Long story short, God is moving our family and ministry to Round Rock, Tx where I will serve as the lead Student Pastor at The Fellowship Church.
This decision to move did not come easy. We spent many nights praying, laughing, and weeping desiring to know what God wanted from us. We didn’t see this offer coming, so we wanted to make sure we heard from Him and didn’t just pursue the new shiny offer.
In your ministry, odds are you will be here also. At some point you will leave the youth ministry you are currently leading.
So let’s examine how we can transition youth ministry faithfully.
Transition in Youth Ministry
Step One: Question Everything
One of the hardest things is to discern and understand is the will of God. Maybe you are more holy than I, and God speaks to you in an audible voice or via email, but not me. I have to petition Him when it comes to the big things. When it comes time for me to get that “one, most important, course-of-your-life-altering choices, right,” I have to seek Him earnestly.
This is how I questions everything:
- Bible – What is God speaking to me through scripture? This is God’s primary means of communication to us, and His will will never contradict Scripture. Psalm 119:105 offers, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
- Prayer – What is God speaking to me through prayer? Am I telling Him what I want or am I listening for His will? Pray that He would bend your will to His. In Luke 11:9-10 Jesus states, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
- Wise Counsel – What are the people you trust most saying about this opportunity or decision? Proverbs 19:20-21 offers, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
- Holy Spirit – Where is the Holy Spirit stirring you? What keeps you awake? Where do you feel He is moving through? Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
- Opportunity – What doors has God opened and closed? Why should you even consider this option? Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something states,
“Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.”
You will leave your youth ministry. Will it be by His doing or yours? How do you go about hearing from God? Comment below!