No one gets into youth ministry because they love administrative office work. And while I do have a handful of colleagues who have truly mastered the art of the Google spreadsheet, I know that for many of us sitting in an office inputting medical information is not what we had in mind when we signed on to ministry. Most of us would rather grab coffee with a student than spend our days tracking down adult volunteers to ensure they’ve completed their Safe Environment paperwork.
I’ve often heard the statistic that the average shelf life of a youth minister is 18 months. And while there are plenty of factors that lead to someone deciding to step away from ministry, I have found amongst my peers that the unexpected amount of in-office work can play a large role. It is in the heart of every youth minister to be with teens, encountering them relationally and introducing them to Christ. So it’s no wonder that spending half of the week on paperwork can lead to burnout—but it doesn’t have to.
The fact is that behind-the-scenes logistics are a huge part of what makes our in-person evangelization and discipleship possible. So, I’d like to share how the Lord has moved in my own heart when it comes to the tasks that I often find menial and frustrating, as well as offer some practical tips on how to survive administrative burnout.