2. We will give space for retreat and reflection

  • We believe it is essential for our youth worker to take time to think and pray.
  • We promise to encourage our youth worker to use part of their schedule to give space for retreat, reflection and personal development.

What is a youth worker’s job?

It might seem basic, but how you answer that question will make all the difference in the world to how you think they should spend their time.

If the focus is running youth meetings and organising events, then you’ll expect them to spend their working week doing just that.

But if you see their role as being a role model to young people, discipling and helping them grow in character and faith, then who they are will matter just as much as what they do.

Every time a youth worker stops to pray, to spend time reflecting, to seek God, they are doing something that not only impacts their own life, but the lives of the young people in your church too.

The truth is that good youth workers are mentors and role models, not just organisers of events and crazy games. This means that taking time to seek God about the vision and direction of their ministries isn’t incidental to their work. It’s indispensable.

Of course, youth workers can struggle to do that, just like the rest of us. It’s hard to put aside time for quiet and reflection in the midst of event planning and relationship building with students.

However, throughout the Gospels we see that Jesus, the Son of God, constantly made it a priority to take time away from the busyness of ministry to pray and seek the Father. How much more so should those in forms of spiritual leadership with young people?

That’s why it’s vital for churches to actively give their youth workers space for retreat and reflection that isn’t just part of their day off, but instead part of their regular responsibilities. Insist on it. Make it a part of their job descriptions to regularly take time away from the office reflecting on what God has done and is doing, as well as seeking His direction for the future.

Sponsor them to go on retreats that aren’t just training.

Because the best thing your teenagers can find in a youth worker is someone who’s following God with all their heart.

Questions to consider

  • How do you actively encourage and challenge your youth worker to take time for retreat and reflection?
  • Does your youth worker feel that they are able to take time for retreat and reflection without being criticised about proper time management?
  • What money do you have in the budget to sponsor any retreats or spiritual activities for just your youth worker?

Ideas to help you meet this promise

  • Send your youth worker on a silent retreat at a local monastery or retreat center in your area.
  • Allow your youth worker to take an afternoon once a month to get away to a quiet place for prayer and reflection.
  • Find somewhere beautiful and arrange for your youth worker to spend some time there in retreat. Regularly!

What your church needs to do

  • The church needs to plan to take two actions in the coming year related to this promise. Those actions do not necessarily need to be the suggestions made above. They can also include things that the church has already done previously and is planning to continue to do in the coming year.