RYM 041: Setting Healthy Boundaries In Your Youth Ministry

If you’re in youth ministry, you know that creating boundaries that keep you sane can be a challenge. There’s always a text that needs to be answered, an email that needs a response, or a meeting that needs to happen. So what does it look like to set healthy boundaries to help balance your personal life and ministry? This week, join ministry leaders for a conversation about the importance of setting boundaries and for some practical ways you can begin implementing boundaries right now.

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Sometimes we leverage the purpose of ministry unethically. (3:00)

If you’re not careful, it can be dangerous when your personal faith and your profession are connected. (8:15)

Sometimes, the church takes advantage of single youth workers’ personal boundaries. (10:30)

Ask: Did you take care of yourself this week? (11:00)

We as the church are running some of our most talented leaders into the ground because they are being overworked and underutilized. (12:00)

When you have a job that’s so full of purpose, it’s the people closest to you that end up paying for your overwork. (14:00)

Turn off notifications to help you be more present. (22:30)

Pay attention to both your calendar and your clock. (25:00)

Sometimes in ministry we forget that we have our own hurts to turn over to God. (27:00)

There is a difference between doing work for God and being with God. (27:30)

Every time you answer a phone call or respond to a text, you are teaching people when it’s okay to call you. (28:00)

Setting boundaries means saying no to things. (29:00)

Schedule white space on your calendar. (35:00)

Find a way to communicate to your leadership what you’re doing every day. (43:30)

Communicate your highs and lows from the previous week, what you’re working on every day, and what’s on your schedule for the upcoming week. (44:00)


Book: Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Book: Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Book: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero


We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and this episode! To join the conversation, leave us a comment here on our episode page or in our Facebook Group. Not a member of our Facebook Group yet? Click the button below to join!




Sarah is a writer and communicator who has been involved in ministry since 2003. In 2007, she joined the XP3 high school team where she now works as a lead writer and content creator. She also a contributing writer to the Parent Cue blog. Sarah lives in Roswell, Georgia, and is a big fan of her husband, her two boys, Asher and Pace, and, in her weaker moments, McDonald’s french fries.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.



Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.



Charlie is an XP3 Orange Specialist at Orange after spending the past 20 years working with students in educational and ministry settings. Most recently, Charlie spent 12 years as the middle school youth pastor in a thriving Methodist church in the Metro Atlanta area. Charlie grew up in rural Illinois but has been living in metro Atlanta, GA for the past 14 years. She lives with her husband Eric, her sometimes snarky but lovable daughter, and their three pups.

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Orange Conference 2018