Nurturing the Soul of the Youth Worker by Tim Smith is possibly the most helpful book I’ve read this year. I feel like I’ve given my all this year in our youth ministry: we’ve outlined a vision to take us to 2020, we’ve started a number of key projects including a couple of lunch clubs a week in a local secondary school, sourcing £38,000 for the development of a youth cafe, five residentials, and all the normal weekly activities, events and pastoral issues a youth worker deals with.
I’m beginning to feel worn out, to feel low. So during a few days off before Christmas when I picked a book to read, I was encouraged greatly to start reading this book. It’s premise is that for a youth leader to minister well s/he needs to be coming from a good lace. We need to look after ourselves, or nurture our soul, to be able to effectively minister.
As I read the ten chapters there were so many lines and paragraphs that jumped out at me I won’t even begin to sum them up. I thank God for prompting me to read this book over all the others on my shelf of books to read. The reading of this book and some wonderful conversations with great older people and the context of a baby due in 7 weeks I’ve been convinced to look at how I slow my pace so that I don’t burnout, and how I ensure I’m being fed and nurtured more consistently. When I know more what that looks like I’ll blog some more.
If you haven’t read this book, and you’re a youth worker, do get hold of a copy – it’s awesome.