GUEST POST: Tis The Season To Keep Us Going

If you were to try to explain to a youth leader that Advent is a restorative season of preparing for the Christ child, they might laugh. While it feels like the time to prepare, finding restoration isn’t always possible. It’s hard to enter into the season as it is.

Christmas shopping, parties, wrapping, and cookies can quickly become things we have to get done instead of joyful occasions. Throw in a bunch of teenagers, a handful of young adults, and now you have a problem. Because Advent is no longer a time for me to welcome Him into my heart; with everything I have, I need to make sure they welcome Him into theirs. So I light the first candle, the candle:


Hope can appear in a lot of different ways. Some youth you encounter are hopeful for good grades and less homework over their Christmas break. Some are hopeful that the youth group night on prayer and reflection won’t be boring, and that for the love of sweet baby Jesus, you won’t take their phones.

Sometimes as youth workers, it seems the only thing we have time to hope for is that our next event will go off without a hitch, kids will show up, and they might get something out of the lesson that took us a whole week to plan. What we ought to be hopeful of is that our worth is more significant than our ministry and l that if we gave one more hour a week to prayer and one less to our planning, that the Savior of the world would be able to step in and help.


The second candle we light symbolizes faith. Faith doesn’t seem like a far off word when you lead a ministry, but it may be the furthest. Often we have more faith in our calendars, creative abilities, and volunteers than we do in the fact that this is Christ’s ministry. I find that in my plans, I may have three or four ideas, and by the time the night comes, boom, a fifth idea I have never considered enters the playing field and ends up being just what we needed that night. Faith is powerful, but of course, planning is necessary too. Don’t lose faith in God, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, but don’t lose faith in you either! God is using you for great things! Work with Him and have faith!


There is a lot of struggle in ministry, but that is not why we drag our tired bodies out of bed every morning. There is so much joy! Joy in mission. Joy in fellowship. And Joy in knowing that if even just one kid finds the Lord this year, I’ve done my job well! Where do you find joy in your ministry?

In your prayer today, consider jotting down as many joyful aspects of ministry that you can and save it for a rainy day. It’s easy to give into frustrations and doubts- do not lose your joy!


Peace comes in prayer. I find that when I plan meetings, they go a lot different than when I pray through meetings. Prayer makes all the difference, and no matter what we have convinced ourselves of, prayer isn’t hard. If you haven’t had a chance to plan a prayer night for your teens, I would highly recommend it.

I would also want to stress the importance of making a space of prayer for yourself when you’re not running around coordinating. Your teens NEED to see you rest, that you collapse at the Savior’s feet, and that He is where you find peace.


As I write this, tons of ideas come to mind for the Advent service Blitz I am hosting tonight. As I’ve entered into prayer alongside you, I as I write, you as you read; let’s remind ourselves that lighting our candle will save us from burnout.

Each week of Advent is an intentional reminder to prepare your heart; do not lose sight. If you’ve been off track so far, do not lose hope ( or faith, joy, or peace), God is so much bigger! As you enter, know that He greets you there. And that the more time you give Him this Advent season, the more ready your teens will be for the Christ Child, simply through your prayer. Tis the season for rest, tis the season for preparing for the Christ Child. Tis the season for prayer!Jenifer is a 27 year old who likes to sip her coffee slowly and wash the dishes because she loves those that use them. Her current state of life includes being a newly married homemaker who uses half of a kitchen rosary and only burns part of most dinners. Coffee gets cold for a youth minister who doubles as an administrative assistant with Right to Life of Michigan but with her messy car and desire for adventure, Jenifer is ready to tackle the world!

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