Bryan and Erik, our Youth Ministry Podcast hosts, fully know the struggle of taking time to rest. From youth conferences to mission trips to camp or lock-ins – it can quite frankly be exhausting! In these intensive situations, youth leaders are expected to be fully present, away from home and family, and focused on the students (chaperones, too!).
When you get back from a youth ministry trip, are you supposed to jump right back into your regular work life at church? Do you take any time off? And if so, what does that look like? How might you be mindful of the people of your congregation in communicating your need to take ministry rest time and how to make it a reality?
Why should you enjoy ministry rest time?
Taking time to rest is essential in any ministry position, full or part time. To be recharged allows you to have something to give when you are working. Nobody is beyond burnout – it happens more often than we would like to admit. Be intentional to maximize your energy and minimize potential burnout. Talk to your pastor or manager about what that looks like for you. If you’re not ending up in your own bed at the end of the night, there (usually) should be some comp time. Start the conversation!
In this episode, Bryan and Erik talk about taking comp time over vacation time when you get back from an intensive trip. The two discuss how to determine how much time might be reasonable. Do you take just a day off? Do you negotiate a few days? Maybe you can even swing a week depending on how long you were away.
Also, consider discussing why you are requesting comp time off. How do you communicate that reasoning to leadership and your church? Intentionally communicating the why for comp time can prevent you from having a lack of boundaries between home and work life. And lastly, and maybe most importantly, listen to the conversation about why sabbath is necessary in youth ministry.
Interested in hearing all that Bryan and Erik have to say in this Youth Ministry Podcast episode about ministry rest time? Listen in here.