Balancing Youth Ministry and Your Personal Life

I am a sports guy. I love watching, playing, and learning new sports. There is one sport though that I have the highest respect for but will NEVER try. That sport is gymnastics. I think it goes back to growing up the neighborhood kids would climb this 8ft tall metal fence and backflip off of it. I tried it and well...landed like a dying bird. UGLYYYY! One of the coolest sports to watch especially during the Olympics is the balance beam. Flips and flips on deck! Some do it so easily, some do it injured, some are the cream of the crop, while others struggle to stay on the beam. 

This balance beam can relate to a lot of Our lives when it comes to balancing youth ministry and our personal lives. Some of us do it while flipping, smiling, and trying new tricks. Effortlessly. While some of us are just trying to walk across the foot in front of the other...

Since you and I are serving together as a team to disciple students, there are a few tricks of the balance beam that I have learned along the way that I want to pass along to you. Hopefully, they will help you “find your footing” on the balance beam of Youth ministry and life. 

1. Fight to Avoid the Tyranny of the Urgent

every activity in life can be divided into 2 categories: urgent & important. Learning how to discern the two will help you balance well. For everything you add, ask yourself “What am I subtracting?” We usually are subtracting from important things like family, raising leaders, etc..

You can either yield to the urgent and be considered a success or yield to the important and be a success.  Your family should never get the left overs. 

John 17:4 

2. Try to keep All 5 Tanks Full

Imagine for a moment you run like a have oil, gas, radiator fluid, window washer fluid, brake fluid, need all to run effectively and to see clearly. With this fun imagery, allow me to pass along something I learned many years ago. 

a. Spiritual Tank - You can’t give away what you DONT HAVE. Get in the Word of God, Pray and believe. Filling this tank is a lot like building muscle in our natural bodies, slowly and consistently. 

B. Emotional Tank - Appreciate People ALOT. AND TAKE A DAY OFF! Even God Rested a day. 

C. Physical Tank - “When Fatigue walks in, faith walks out” -Spurgeon. Eat right, workout right, and take a multivitamin. 

D. Intellectual Tank - Read the word, read other books. Expand yourself. Learn how this generation thinks and how to reach them. Some ideas of genre’s would be: Leadership, spiritual growth, parenting, marriage, singleness, biographies, sci-fi. 

E. Relationship tank - Get around people that inspire you! If you have somethings to settle with someone, settle it. Learn this: everyone has people around them that add or take away, there are very few neutral people. Oh, if your are struggling with this in youth ministry, find a few kids that motivate you. you know the students that “get it!” 

3. Prepare to fight the good, better, and best wars in your life. 

Say no to things that challenge the original call of God on your life! 

Avoid the disease to please! 

4. Decide what you are willing to fail at. 

20% of what you do will give you 80% of your results. 

You must be willing to fail at the right things. 

For example, I am willing to fail at missing a sporting event, but I’m not willing to fail at my walk with Jesus. 

Success is found not in what I do but found in those who know me BEST to love me MOST. 

5. Live Wholeheartedly the Season You Are In

What you set your heart on, do with ALL your HEART. 

When this life is all said and done, may we all be able to enter heaven used up completely with nothing left on the inside. Poured out...

Balancing is hard...But I know you can do it! Let’s determine to be GOLD Medalist on the balance beam of Youth MInistry and our personal lives. 



Max Perez