At the end of every High School year, as a youth pastor, I enter into what I call the “Off Season.” Yes… I view my day to day youth ministry job just like a professional athlete 🙂
Actually, it really just means that we stop regular school year programming and go into a lighter season of ministry. This actually provides me and my team some much needed rest and recuperation for the next season. But, just like any athlete, the off season is not just a time to sit back and do nothing. I do “OFF SEASON TRAINING.” No, I don’t start working on my bench press or my 5k times… I train myself in leadership, communication, youth ministry, and team building. So how do I train? Well, here is a short list of some things I do:
1. Intentionally read books on leadership, communication, & Youth Ministry.
I push myself to go beyond where I am at in these areas. Even if I think I am strong in this… I can always improve on those strengths.
2. Look for conferences to attend.
Whether they are online or with a whole team of people… conferences are a great way to train for a year of ministry.
3. Go to lunch with other Youth Pastors.
I have, over the years, made a point to go to lunch with other youth pastors (on and off season) and sharpen myself as a youth pastor. We’ll discuss philosophy, resources, ideas, theology, best practices… These are always AWESOME times!
4. Plan “HANG OUT” events with students.
Summer becomes one of those times where the stress of every week programming is gone… and I can do some great relational ministry. This helps bring me back to remember what it is all about. Sometimes I just need the reminder.
What do you do to TRAIN in the offseason?