5 Ways to Invest in Your Ministry (And Yourself) This Year

You may have developed a list of resolutions for the New Year, or set goals for your ministry, but have you planned for a little personal development?

Your ministry, your work, will only be as solid as YOU are.  So why not invest in your ministry AND yourself?   I’m here to help you.

I’d like to offer 5 ways you can invest in your ministry (and YOU) this year:

5. Network with Others  – One of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done is connect with other leaders who are in the trenches like me.  Learning from others who are in your field and doing life with others who have been in your shoes will help you grow. You might try finding someone in your local Youth Pastor Network or perhaps just reach out to leaders from neighboring churches. You’d be surprised at how investing in these relationships will move you forward.

4. Read More, Listen More – One of the main reasons I launched my own Blog and Podcast was to learn from others.  I always have a handful of blogs that I read each week and there are a few podcasts that I frequent as well.   There are SO many to choose from, but I’d like to mention a few of my favorites here:

Christopher Wesley’s Blog  (click to read)
Mark Oestreicher’s Blog (click to read)
Download Youth Ministry’s Blog (click to read)
Rachel Blom’s Blog  (click to read)
Michael Hyatt’s Blog  (click to read)

Michael Hyatt – This is Your Life (iTunes)
YM Answers Podcast (iTunes)
Andy Stanley’s Podcast (iTunes)
Download Youth Ministry Podcast (iTunes)
… and a quick plug for my Podcast (iTunes)

3. Go to a Conference – I absolutely LOVE conferences. And you’ll typically see me at a few each year — learning, networking, and just hanging out too!  If you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to attend at least ONE conference a year, what are you waiting for?   Between the Keynote sessions, breakout sessions, and networking too … there’s so much to gain from participation in an experience like this.

Here are a few conferences I really like: The Orange Conference, National Youth Workers Convention, Catalyst Conference, Simply Youth Ministry Conference, and the D6 Conference.

2. Coaching – Some of the best things I’ve learned in my ministry experience has come from what I’ve learned from doing life with a mentor or coach. This is why a few years ago I felt it necessary to begin a coaching program.  I’ve coached and mentored dozens of youth workers and love being able to help set them up for success.  Check out this article I wrote on “5 Steps to Finding Your Next Mentor” and if I can help you, [click here] to check out my Coaching Program.

1. Prayer – It may sound like a total cliche, but prayer is without a doubt the absolute KEY to your ministry and personal growth this year.  Don’t deny the power of prayer.  I want to challenge you (as I challenge myself) to find pockets of time to spend time in prayer for yourself and your ministry.  Whether it be spending 5 minutes in prayer as you commute to your next appointment (Tip: Drive with your eyes open), or 10 more minutes before you go to bed, make sure you spend more focused time this year in communication with God.

What Steps Are You Planning to Take this Year?  Comment and let me know.  And thanks for sharing this post with others.

[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership right now!