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(Photo: Courtesy of Frontgate Media)Greg Stier, founder of Dare 2 Share.
Youth leaders face a ton of pressure. Unrealistic parental expectations, teen apathy, stressed marriages, low pay, overpacked schedules and under-appreciated efforts are all contributors to youth leader burnout. According to The State of Youth Ministry Report commissioned by Youth Specialties, the average youth leader stays in their position for 3 years.
Years - Teenagers - Share - Faith - Dare
Over the last 25+ years of equipping teenagers to share their faith through Dare 2 Share I have met countless youth leaders who were on the brink of burn out. During these times my role has had to switch from evangelist/trainer/preacher to counselor/shepherd/friend with my hurting brothers and sisters in Christ.
My heart breaks for youth leaders close to being burnt out. Most of them love God passionately and love teens deeply but their frustrations and disillusionments have begun to boil over in their souls in visceral and painful ways.
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Of course there are many factors in youth leader burnout but, after talking to thousands of youth leaders over the years, I'm convinced there is one overarching reason. It's simply this... most youth leaders, down deep inside, are not convinced they are making a lasting difference in the lives of the teenagers they are ministering to on a weekly basis.
Feeling - Center - Soul - Whispers - Youth
There is a gnawing feeling in the center of their soul that whispers to these youth leaders that they're not really making the spiritual impact they thought they were. This whisper is bolstered by the statistics that say the majority of teenagers who currently go to youth group will bag their faith after they graduate from high school.
How discouraging is that? You pour your life into a group of teens, do your best to teach them the latest curriculum, relentlessly encourage and counsel them, teach them week after week...
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