Slow Down This Christmas
Posted by: DVULI | November 28, 2023
By Jordan Francis (Phoenix 2017)
The holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year. Breathing and enjoying the Christmas season can be tricky with programs to plan and execute, sermons to write and deliver, and countless other responsibilities.
The irony is that we are celebrating the incarnation. “Emmanuel, God with us,” yet we can be so focused on what we have planned we struggle to be near those in our care, our families, and God.
You’re not just a youth worker but a human made in God’s image designed for a community.
God cares about the minister, not just the ministry.
I have a challenge this Christmas: Let’s enjoy Jesus, our families, and our communities.
Three Tactics for Youth Leaders to Avoid Stressful Holiday Habits:
1. Prioritize Presence
It’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You won’t do your best work as a youth worker if you’re constantly running on fumes. Christmas is a great time to rekindle closeness with God. Christmas reminds us of his closeness and the lengths He was willing to go through to make this happen.
To spend time with God, we need space. This may mean delegating specific tasks or asking for help from your team. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support when you need it.
This may also mean that everything doesn’t get done the way you want. It’s okay.
Slow down and savor the simple pleasures of the Christmas season. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a lit tree or spend extra time with your family. By being mindful and present, you’ll create more meaningful memories for yourself and those around you.
2. Incorporate Joyful Traditions
While your work focuses on the spiritual aspects of Christmas, don’t forget to bring some fun into the mix.
Incorporate activities and traditions with your family and friends so you can be present in the moments you have with them. This could be baking Christmas cookies, watching a classic holiday movie, or looking at Christmas lights. These small moments of joy can help you slow down and enjoy the season with the ones you love.
3. Connect with Other Youth Workers
Finally, don’t forget that you’re not alone in your struggles to balance hard work and rest during the Christmas season. Reach out to other youth workers in your community and encourage one another, share experiences to glean ideas, and celebrate together!
The intent was for us to enjoy the existence He has given us and, in that enjoyment, worship Him. Yes, sin has made that difficult, but Jesus has come!
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace,
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6–7 (NIV)
In doing the work to bring Jesus to others, let’s ensure we don’t miss Him ourselves.