Question: Ministry “burn out”

Today, I was speaking with an FJV (Former Jesuit Volunteer) who volunteered with me in the Midwest province back in 2003-04.  He’s in town for ND Vision as a youth minister and is serving at a thriving parish in Ohio.  We talked about many things, but one item that came up was the issue of “burn out” in youth ministry.  In his eighth or ninth year of youth ministry now, he suggested that the average tenure of youth ministers is something closer to 2 years and that in order to keep going he had been forced to learn how to get past being “burned out.”  This made me wonder, is there any good research on burn out among youth ministers?  I know there’s research on clergy burn out, but have not heard of anything that examined youth ministers.

So, I am asking here on The Catholic Conversation–do you know of any good research on burn out in youth ministry (or ministry generally)?  Even beyond research, are there any good practical books about dealing with burn out in youth ministry?


3 thoughts on “Question: Ministry “burn out”

  1. The only things I know of are articles written from a non-academic Protestant/Evangelical perspective which will be at least a little different than many Catholic perspectives because of the fact that most Youth Pastors are ordained clergy in their traditions and also many are already married by the time they enter into ministry. Catholic Coordinators of Youth Ministry are often not married when they begin their ministry so the “spend time with your wife an kids” that many Evangelical groups will list as a way to avoid burnout might not apply to a Catholic in youth ministry.
    That said, many of the same things apply. The below is an article from Youth Ministry 360 and a series of posts from More Than Dodgeball both from a Protestant/Evangelical perspective. I hope that helps.