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Spending Time Outside Ministry

Answering the call to become a leader in ministry is no easy task.

From planning out Life Nights and retreats, forming relationships with teens and their families, and even becoming more active in our parish, our lives can quickly revolve around ministry. We often find ourselves thinking about how we can better lead teens closer to Christ. There is no denying that by answering the call to become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), we are constantly filled with an outpouring of joy as we help to build God’s kingdom here on earth. While we should absolutely answer the call to discipleship, it can be challenging to have a life outside of ministry once we become deeply involved in it.

While serving in ministry, it is essential that we keep our spiritual cup filled through various means. That includes partaking in the sacraments such as the Eucharist and Reconciliation, setting aside personal time for prayer, and even coming together with our community to pray and give praise to Him. Regardless of the amount of time, energy, and effort we put into building God’s kingdom, we must also take a step into the secular world and spend some time outside of ministry.

Although we can use our free time to develop holy habits and strengthen our relationship with God, it is also necessary to pursue different hobbies and interests unrelated to ministry. And I know — it may be odd to think that way, especially when our lives are so centered around Christ and doing His will. But by pursuing things outside of ministry and the church, we can become an even more well-rounded youth minister and bring an array of fresh ideas to the table. You may or may not already have some things in place, but just in case, here are some examples of things you could start doing today.

Develop an Exercise Routine

Just as we seek to cleanse our souls of our sins through confession, it is also a good idea to keep our bodies physically healthy and clean too. It doesn’t have to be something intense or over the top, like a five-day training regimen. Your exercise routine could be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk twice a week or a series of stretches in the morning. You can tailor it to your capabilities and liking, just as long as you get up and move about.

Create Something New

God blessed every one of us with different skills and talents. Some of us are good at public speaking, some can lift things three times their weight, and others might be able to use their creativity to make something new. Creating can help us destress from a difficult day, allow us to pursue a variety of passion projects, and help us physically portray our thoughts and imagination. This can come in the form of poetry, painting, or even through the art of carpentry. The artistic projects that you pursue can also carry over into ministry and help you find new ways to share God’s message.

Reading a Book

The Bible is one book that we should strive to read as much as possible — and it will probably take our whole lifetime to understand it in its entirety. However, we should also read books from different authors with various backgrounds. Even if it’s a few chapters a week, take the time to sit down with a book, regardless of the genre. Reading is an easy way to spend time outside of ministry and can help us to learn more about specific topics like our career, mental health, and even our faith.

Connect With Friends

It is a blessing to live in such a technological age where, with one swipe and a click, we’re able to connect to people from across the globe. This is especially useful during the current climate of the world that is plagued by a global pandemic. Through the use of technology, we’re able to safely meet our friends online and reconnect with them through Zoom birthday parties, game nights, and have whole conversations “face to face.” While it is essential to set aside alone time to pray and self-reflect, it is just as important to maintain our relationships within our community and circle of friends. Through these human connections, we can thrive inside and outside of ministry, be held accountable for our goals and what we do, and have a support system that we can turn to at any time.

Spend Time with Family

There is no doubt that given enough time, our church community becomes more than the people we see every Sunday; they become family, brothers and sisters united in Christ, striving for the same goal, which is heaven. However, it is important to tend to the relationships within our own household. Our parents, siblings, and any other relative that might live with us are part of our “domestic church” (CCC 2685). Spending time with our family, even if it’s as small as sharing a meal together, will not only help us to develop our domestic church, but can carry over into ministry as well.

Being a youth minister is not something everyone is called to. It is a calling that we pour our hearts, mind, and soul into in order for the youth to grow in their relationship with God. However, as we continue to pour out God’s mercy and love onto others, we must also take the time for ourselves to refill our spiritual cup, which includes the time we spend outside of ministry.

The activities we pursue not only help us maintain a balanced lifestyle, but can also allow us to better lead the youth to encounter God in a variety of new and different ways. So take a step back from ministry and pick up a hobby, spend time with family and friends, rest, and recharge so that you can continue to serve God with 110%. Making Christ the center of our lives and leading His people is important, yes, but the time we spend outside of ministry matters, too.

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

About the Author

Dyllan Mamasig

A prodigal son that has returned back home. Born and raised in Hawaii, I like anything matcha green tea, cat videos, and listening to K-pop. But above all else, I love pursuing a deeper relationship with God through prayer and the Eucharist. I'm always finding new ways to be a great youth minister and an even greater disciple of Christ. In between reading, writing, and graphic designing, I sometimes tweet about my life journey and the daily car conversations that I have with God @dyllanmykel.

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