All right, we’re going to go ahead and close down the youth ministry thread with these last two nuggets.  But they are incredibly important nuggets, so read on and join the conversation.

Youth Ministry Nugget #12: Be a husband and father first.

I’m sorry, I realize this is sexist.  But it’s how I heard the advice, coming from a man to another man.  For you ladies in youth ministry, please receive it as “Be a wife and mother first.”

The main idea behind this is that your family comes before your ministry.  I’ve heard the argument that you are doing God’s work.  But in that, we fail to see that loving our spouses and raising our kids IS God’s work.  They have to come first in our lives.  I can say a lot more, but I don’t think I need to.  I think you get it.  You just have to live it.

Youth Ministry Nugget #13: Finish well.

I wish this was taught to every youth minister in the world.  Once God is drawing our time at a church to a close, we know we are moving on, maybe even have the next job already, and are just finishing our time at this current church, we have a horrible tendency to quit.  We stop connecting and loving these kids because we are preparing for the next group.  We stop trying as hard; we stop investing for the future because we know there is not a future.  But for these students, this is still the only present they have.  And we waste it.  Many times I’ve talked to guys who have told me that they no longer have a vision for their current ministry, that God is moving them on to their next church.  That may or may not be so.  But if you don’t have a new vision, then at least follow the old vision.  Continue loving students.  Continue teaching the Bible.  Continue to take kids to lunch.  Continue to build relationships.  Continue to connect them to each other.  This is still the work of the kingdom.  You are still a leader and lover of God’s children.  Do it well.  Sprint to the end of the race.  And when you move on, be able to say, I gave it everything.  Finish well.

I hope some of these have been beneficial.  Pass them along to your youth leaders.  Start conversations in your church.  Join the conversation here.