Blog/CYM Blog

When Jesus Becomes Your Job

Working in ministry we all constantly toe a very fine line between our own spiritual life and our job. It is a blessing to work in ministry and to be able to spend our days teaching and proclaiming a God we love… but there is also the danger of making Jesus our job.

No matter what you do, at some point in your life a job becomes a job. Luckily for most of us that does not happen as often as others who don’t get to spend their days thinking of creative ways to get pied in the face. But I would beg to say that even in youth ministry we can feel burdened by the day to day meetings, planning, emails, dealing with parents, and handling all those who rely on us.

Sometimes it’s hard to not let this exhaustion and “over it” mentality seep into our spiritual lives when our jobs are all about Jesus. There have been many a day for me that I could tell you every Catechism reference and Scripture passage about the institution of the Eucharist, but not the last time I truly felt moved by this loving sacrifice.

I have come to realize after four years of studying theology and then working everyday in the books and knowledge of our faith, it is not enough to have just the head without the heart. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you start feeling like the line of your spiritual life and your job is getting foggy.

God is bigger.

God is so much bigger than you, than your youth group, than your parish. Your faith needs to be bigger than you, than your youth group, than your parish. Do you ever worry about what would happen to your relationship with Christ if you didn’t do ministry? If you would still think about Him and talk about Him as much if you worked a regular 9-5? Your spiritual life has to run so much deeper than your role as a youth minister.

Gut check.

Step back and think about all the things you tell teenagers on a regular basis. You are asking them to believe what you are telling them about the Church, about the Sacraments, and about Jesus. Do you believe what you are telling them? Do you truly believe with your whole heart the truths that you are preaching, or have you become so accustom to what you are saying that you don’t really think about it any more? Most of us are so knowledgable in the teachings of the Church that we can go on auto pilot pretty easily and still be effective in teaching, but in that lies the danger of our faith staying in our head (and pride) and not coming from our heart.

Fall in love.

If you feel like you have just been punched in the gut by the reality of your own lack of faith, its okay, God is bigger (see what I did? Tying it all in ). You have to take some time to step back and fall in love again with Jesus. Yes you still have to do all the duties of your job, but you must make room in your life for Jesus to make the journey down into your heart.

Take some time to reflect on your life and how Jesus has led you, really read the scriptures (don’t just read the first word and the zone out as you recite the rest of it from memory and think about lunch), go back to the Sacraments and enter in, be bold in your prayer. Call on the Holy Spirit and ask God to rock your heart, to show you His love, to bring you back to an authentic relationship. He will be more than happy to.

What you do is so important; but not as important as your own relationship with Christ. Take to heart the words of St. Paul, what a shame it would be to see all your teens cross the finishing line without you (1 Corinthians 9:27). Do not give up if you are feeling at a loss, go to Him and let Him be so much more than your job.

About the Author

Amanda Grubbs

Amanda Grubbs is a graduate from Franciscan University with a degree in Theology and Catechetics with a concentration in Youth Ministry. She serves as the Edge Support Coordinator for Life Teen, and is actively involved at her local parish. She is a Colorado native, happily married, mother, and loves all things fall (which is unfortunate when living in the middle of the desert). You can email her at agrubbs@lifeteen.com or follower her on Twitter @LT_AmandaG.