Feeling overwhelmed in youth ministry [Time Out]

Topic / Time Out

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Steve Cullum)

It is no secret that there is a great deal of work to do for God’s Kingdom. When I think of that, I tend to get overwhelmed. There are so many teenagers in the world who have nothing to do with Christ. In fact, many of you reading this are probably a bit overwhelmed as you read this. Depending on what part of the world your ministry is located, you might be in a giant uphill battle. However, no matter if you are in the middle of the “Bible-belt” or trying to reach students in a tiny undeveloped island in the Pacific ocean, we can all agree that youth ministry is tough.

But there is one particular thing that encourages me: I am not in this alone. Not only do I have Christ on my side, I am also partnered with many other amazing people. God has placed some amazing adults on my local ministry team and He has many others working for His cause throughout the world. It is not all on my shoulders, which is great!

I have a feeling that Paul was often overwhelmed when he traveled around in his missionary days. Sure, he had good friends and partners, but there was so much to be done for Christ. His goal to get the Gospel to Rome was extremely ambitious. However, his words to the church in Ephesus captured his thoughts.

“For this reason, ever since I have about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of the glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for all us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:15-19 NIV)

When I think about all of you whom God has called, I think of Paul’s words. It is an amazing thing to be a part of a huge team of individuals who value teenagers’ lives enough to dedicate many hours each week to make sure they have a relationship with their Creator.

So, the next time you get overwhelmed with all the work of God’s Kingdom, remember that you are not alone, and thank God for the team He has assembled in His name.


  • Who have you intentionally put in your life that acts as an encouragement to you?
  • Who are you intentionally encouraging?
  • Is your church a job, or a place where you’re truly able to connect with people?
  • Who can you connect with outside of your specific church circle (we all need that sometimes)?

Steve Cullum is the Student Minister at Rockingham Christian Church in Salem, NH. He received his B.A. in Youth Ministry in 2005 from Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, IL, and he is completing his M.A. in General Ministry also from LCU. He blogs about his ministry and life, and you can follow him on Twitter.

Posted on June 13, 2011

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99