Hitting the 18 month wall in Student Ministry

Over the past year and a half I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ryan Reed.  He joined our local network when he arrived in Marin and has been killing it in his context ever since.  Ryan is one of the smartest and most thoughtful young youth workers I know.  But what makes Ryan over the top impressive is his ability to reflect.  He intentionally reflects on his faith, his life, his marriage, and his ministry.  And because of this discipline he has become wise beyond his years.  When we met for lunch and he shared with me the lunch version of this post, I told him I had to share it.  Whether you are a rookie or a veteran, we have all hit the wall, and pushing through is what separates the girls from the women!  (Or men from the boys.  See how I am trying to be inclusive in my language :) )  Enjoy!

How to break through the 18 month wall . . . AND THRIVE!

I need to confess: I am out of ideas and energy.

I have been serving at Hillside Church for 17 months, and I have accomplished more than I could have ever imagined, even including building a good relationship with my Lead Pastor! This is a result of time and energy invested into the work of God in my community. Given all of this investment, however, I recently encountered something that I never expected.


I awoke one morning a few weeks ago in a cold panic, thinking for the first time that I truly had no clue how to continue our student ministry. Up until this point, I was steadily and consistently implementing a vision for what I thought a successful, vibrant youth ministry could become for our church. Now, I laid awake with a feeling of dread and the weight of a thousand bricks on my chest. I am out of ideas, I thought. And then, I realized:

I am hitting the 18 month wall . . . 

(continue reading)