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Youth leader

Challenged - overwhelmed – challenging

The youth leader is someone who challenges others on the one hand, but is also challenged. A youth leader can sometimes become quickly overwhelmed. You are challenged by God, by your parents, by the clergymen, by other youths and by the whole group.

God challenges us:

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(targets, competence, quality, success, motivation, skills, ...)
©: photolars - Fotolia

God requires our complete effort from the whole of us for our whole lives. If you see that as overwhelming, then you must definitely find out where the causes lie. If your personal relationship problems with god turn into overwhelming problems in your youth work, you need to bring the relationship back into line.

Digression: 1.Timothy 1, 15-18 Romans 5,20 “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more“, Why can’t we get over some sins?

  • I have not yet recognised them as such: Recognise sins – analyse them – and acknowledge them
  • Superficial cleansing is not enough
    • Take sins seriously
    • Acknowledge your sins in front of God
    • Thank God and Jesus for their deeds
    • Talk and pray with a trusted person
  • God looks at the heart. For this reason, it is very important that you bring the relationship back into line by being open and honest. If you do not know which way to turn, go to a good Pastor, or to a Christian who you trust with whom you can talk to and pray with.

You are challenged:

  • Follow God’s wisdom and listen to HIM.
  • Love your group members.
  • Engage yourself for the group.
  • Be a testimony and live like Jesus wants you to.
  • Emit liveliness and joyfulness. A miserable face does not encourage anyone.
  • Show your willingness to help and involve yourself.
  • Notice the (inner) needs of your group members and make them your own needs.
  • Keep an eye on the group members who do not yet belong to Jesus. Pray for these youths (internal engagement).
  • Undertake something, deal, mobilise, perform, activate and encourage the youths. Standing alongside and reacting every now and again is far too passive. That will not make anyone stand up.
  • Keep an overall view; keep the overview when chaos breaks out around you.
  • Put your own interests to the back of the queue.
  • Do not let yourself be disturbed by the enemy’s exercises. God’s opposition will try everything to make sure that you cannot be bothered with youth work anymore, so that your group members cannot be bothered with Jesus. You can be sure that struggles will land at your feet. Be prepared.
  • Never lose sight of Jesus.
  • Be an example in everything you do.

You can challenge:

  • Encourage support in prayer.
  • Interest and awaken community concern.

You are overwhelmed

  • One day, it might come to an end because the leader does not want to carry on. It is not very nice when we are up to our necks in water (JESUS to his disciples: "CALM DOWN a bit!"). It is often a spiritual overwhelming. The thought "I am overwhelmed" is often the problem: fear of doing wrong and fear of failing.

Which possibilities can come about?

  • Abandoning youth work / resignation / everything becomes neglected. The conclusion will be: The group is split and breaks up; everything which started off promisingly is broken off again. God’s opposition has won.


  • New reflection – new direction. Jesus shows us the way once again, points us in the right direction again, gives us new power for new and old tasks and might even be able to show us the mistakes and causes of overwhelming feelings.

Which limits might a youth worker face?

  • Temperament
  • Intelligence
  • Power
  • Patience
  • Talent/skills

We do not have to master everything! Team members can compliment each other much better. This is why we need each other. Not everyone has the same temperament, the above average intelligence level, the power, the patience and the talent for one or the other aspects of youth work. One person might be able to transmit God’s message in a suitable way for children and youths, another person might be able to engage himself physically, one person might be quickly at the end of their tether without patience and energy while another person might have calmness and tranquillity. This proves that team work is important.

God does not want overwhelmed youth workers and he will give us exactly what we need to complete our youth work.

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