Avoiding the Burnout: How to survive as a Youth Worker

At Sunshine, the concept of Shalom is more than the absence of violence, it is the “way things are supposed to be”.  Shalom includes the reconciliation and restoration of the community and draws out the inherent virtuosity and giftedness of each individual. Pete Blodgett, Director of Discipleship at Sunshine, is working hard to bring about  “Shalom” on the south side through the avenue of discipleship.


Pete believes that biblically leading youth is one way to integrate change.  The discipleship program at Sunshine utilizes a holistic approach which integrates Christianity in everyday activities such as health, education, sports, work and so forth. After 10 years of developing the program, Pete asserts that staying healthy is of utmost priority as a ministry worker. Research has shown that youth workers are highly vulnerable to burnout and often leave the field prematurely resulting in fractured relationships. Pete has been able to defy the norms by practicing the following tips:


  • Be Content- It’s important to learn how to be satisfied with the progress made in helping others.
  • Remind yourself of the success stories to keep from discouragement, remind yourself of the wins along the way.
  • Correctly place your purpose and value- The work is not who you are, it is only what you do.
  • Reward yourself and others by celebrating milestones.

Each tip above can be summed up into one word-love. Having a love for oneself and others is ultimately what provides the endurance and creativity needed to safeguard the joy of making God’s youth His disciples.