On Tuesday I turned 28 years old.  I thought I’d share 28 things I wish someone would have told me when I was 20. (They probably did, but I wasn’t paying attention.):

  1. Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint.
  2. Jesus cares more about young people and the church than you do.
  3. Youth ministry is just one important ministry in the church – there are others.
  4. You can’t please everyone … so why try?
  5. People will criticise you. Just get used to it.
  6. Three months from now, you won’t even remember most of the things that are bothering you today.
  7. You can’t do it all. Stop trying.
  8. God called you because He is good, not because you are.
  9. Become close friends with other youth leaders in your town (as many as you can).
  10. Your ministry isn’t your god. God is your God.
  11. You know how to give and how to minister to others. If you don’t learn how to receive, you’ll burn out and/or die.
  12. Studying for talks and sermons doesn’t replace your personal time with God and in His word.
  13. Believe in people that others overlook.
  14. If you’re going to reach people that others aren’t, you’ll have to do things that others won’t.
  15. Your integrity matters more than you can imagine.
  16. Be careful what you say. You’re being watched (and recorded).
  17. Don’t return emails when you’re angry.
  18. Only read emails a couple of times a day – don’t be a master to emails.
  19. Turn your emails off on your day off – focus on you and your family.
  20. Check to make sure your microphone is turned off before you use the toilet. Double-check.
  21. Compliment, encourage, and build up your staff and volunteers.
  22. Hand write thank you notes.
  23. Don’t criticize others’ ministries.  Yours isn’t nearly as perfect as you think it is.
  24. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Rest. Exercise. Take time off. No one else can do that for you.
  25. If you don’t take much time off, it’s because you’re proud, and you think you’re more necessary than you really are.
  26. Don’t just delegate responsibility. Delegate authority.
  27. Laugh frequently.
  28. People will leave your church. People you love and trust will leave your church. Don’t take it personally.
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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