Finding peace amidst the busyness and stress of life isn’t easy, especially in youth ministry.
At a recent retreat in Ontario, 70 youth workers and youth pastors from Christian Reformed churches across the province heard that making time for peace and quiet with God is essential to the effectiveness of their ministry.
Rather than focusing on learning how to do youth ministry better, participants were challenged to grow in their own spiritual lives and to take time to stop and reflect, away from the turmoil of ministry.
The SoulCare retreat was one of six planned across North America by Youth Unlimited to address the growing concern of burnout among CRC youth pastors.
“The purpose is to provide time for spiritual nourishment and well-being. We feel that if the youth workers are spiritually healthy themselves, it will increase their effectiveness in ministry,” said Jeff Kruithof, Youth Unlimited’s executive director.
Paula Wolters of Ebenezer CRC in Trenton, Ontario, said it was an opportunity to network and encourage. “I feel called back to focus on Him and not on my crazy ‘to-do’ lists,” she said. “There is a need to slow down and take care of my soul . . . to be fed, prayed for, and encouraged to press on.”
Julie Scholman of Mountainview CRC in Grimsby, Ontario, agreed. “It was great to have quiet time with God away from the busyness of life.”