I live in Baltimore, but I’m not a Raven’s fan. That can be hard because the Raven’s are big here. It can also be the reason why people miss church or our Sunday night middle school program. While I’ve grown used to it last year’s playoffs was another story. As the Raven’s got closer to the Super Bowl, volunteers and teens found more reason to miss program. My anger, resentment and frustration began to show. I was not careful with my emotions and I found every opportunity to rain on people’s parades.
Authenticity is essential in youth ministry. Teens will love you if you are transparent; however, there have to be times when you are careful with what you show. You might have had a fight with the pastor and you want everyone to know. You might have been chewed out by a parent and feel justice needs to be served. There is a lot of battle in youth ministry but before you engage in war consider the causalities that might be occur. Before you let everyone know how you feel be sure to:
- Find An Outlet: You need someone you trust and an activity that allows you to get your angst off of your chest. The reason you need both is because they fulfill different needs. A person can hold you accountable to move forward and give you feedback. An activity will allow you to expend any energy that might be pent up. Make sure you release anything that’s built up inside.
- Name The Sin Beneath The Wound: If not careful unaddressed sin can lead to unnecessary wounds. Before it gets serious lean in, name your sin and address it. That might mean confessing it, and seeking out professional help. No matter how hard you try to do it on your own, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed.
- Guard Your Heart: The only way to be prepared for spiritual battle is to work on your spiritual disciplines. That means scheduling in time for prayer and diving into scripture. The more you guard your heart the more you’ll be able to catch yourself before you go too far. Granted you’ll still be attacked, but you’ll be more careful.
There will be times when your emotions and feelings get the best of you. Before you unleash them on the people around you pause, reflect and think. What you do in the heat of the moment might last for a life time. Trust in God to lead you, take a step back and allow yourself to cool down.
How are you careful not to let your emotions get the best of you?