How to Survive and Thrive In Your First Youth Ministry Job

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There is nothing quite like being young, idealistic, and naive. Let’s be real; this is a fair way to describe most people in their first full-time job out of college (especially when it’s in their intended career). Despite the number of grey hairs on my head, I have rather vivid memories of my first few years as the youth director in a large church. They’re vivid because I was really out of my league as an inexperienced youth minister in a very large church – and I knew it. What church with more than 5,000 members hires a rookie straight out of college, when they could have hired a veteran of at least five years? By God’s grace and design, this church did, and I was the beneficiary. My first year saw many days wondering if I would survive, yet I ultimately served there for nearly ten years.

Given my rookie status, that first year I discovered several keys to getting off to a solid start. Some I accomplished better than others, and experienced the results of that. The following are five suggestions of how we survive and thrive in our first few years.

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