Are You Too Busy For Church? | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2017

Are You Too Busy For Church?

By Kelly Peterson-Cruse

We are called to be faithful; we are called to be in relationship as a Disciple of Jesus Christ. However, in ministry we often find it challenging not to feel like we have to do all and be all. When I finished my last position as a youth director at a local church, I realized something. As I walked into worship that first Sunday after the end of my time, it was the first time in TWO years I could just sit. To actually “BE” in worship without the distraction of everything I had to do each Sunday. Youth leaders serve over-stressed, over scheduled families. Families who often have a laundry list of reasons why their youth can’t participate in worship or youth group. Part of our call to ministry should be to model and commit to being in a faithful, growing relationship with our God.

Here are some things to consider as you strive to find that balance in your ministry:

  • Is your ministry with young people completely activity driven? Do you allow and model “down time” for reflection, meditation and prayer? Do you take that time for yourself to be in the word, pray, and reflect?
  • Do you make sure your young people are IN worship and not pulled for Sunday school or other activities? Do you help them make connections about the worship experience? The music, the lectionary, the sermon?
  • Perhaps consider not sitting with your youth group? Allow yourself to BE in worship and allow yourself to be fed and nurtured. I would go so far as to say go back to a bible that is not on your phone or iPad, eliminating electronic distractions.
  • Feel free to say and practice saying “No”. God wants us to say no. Remember Mary and Martha? Martha was so focused on all that she had to “do” she missed the opportunity and the importance of “being” in the presence of Jesus by saying “no” to her to do list.
  • Don’t be so quick to say “Yes”. It is ok to discern who God wants you to be in ministry. Create boundaries when necessary. Honor your day of Sabbath.
  • Put your time in what you value. If you find yourself involved in activities that you feel you "have to do" or in mindless activities because you're overwhelmed, you need to take time to put your priorities is in order. Sometimes that means giving things up, cutting back and getting back to “being” genuine in, rather than just merely “doing” your faith walk.
  • Occasionally, give yourself a “break” to worship somewhere else. Somewhere that you are not "large and in charge." Somewhere you can truly “be” in the spirit of worship.
  • When you find yourself in those times you cannot worship, find a podcast and some alone time to worship. One of my favorites is “sundaymorningsleepin” as it is more than a recording of a sermon. It is two young adult pastors talking about their approach to the week’s lectionary.

So I must admit, writing this blog post was difficult. I find myself not finding time for worship too often. In part because of the demands and travel of my position in ministry. Writing this was a reminder, a nudge that I need to find time to BE a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

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