a blessing for youth workers in the new school year

many years ago, i decided the staff of youth specialties were super tired. we were about to head into a busy season, and we were all running on fumes.

sounds a little like coming off a busy youth ministry summer and jumping into a new school year, right?

we decided to give everyone a 7-day weekend, a mini-sabbatical. our amazing spiritual director beth slevcove wrote some beautiful meditations for those days, and i’ve just rediscovered them. i’m going to share them in a series here on my blog, and hope you’ll take ten minutes to rest and soak in god’s love for you as you read them (when you see them posted).

but let’s start with this. steve case, a veteran youth worker and author for both youth specialties and the youth cartel, wrote this beautiful prayer of blessing for our staff. but as i read it again, i would love you, youth worker, to receive this as a blessing on your head:

blessingCreator and Rejuvenating God

Your servants are tired.

They have walked across a desert for you and now they stand







dust caked.

Take a balloon, God, one of those big ones with all the colors, and hook it up to some heavenly spicket. Let them stand together and rest. Let them know its okay to stop









Let them stand and wait as the balloon swells with your sweet water.

Let them take this moment and close their eyes and tilt their heads back and outstretch their arms.

When the water bursts let it pour down

not in a drizzle

not in a sprinkle

not in a sponge down

not even in a pouring

let it be a deluge

let it be a drenching of your love and presence

May they stand in the center of a waterfall obscured by pour God sized buckets of sweet renovating water.

let them stand firm and feel the washing away of the stress

let every speck of collected dust be wash away

Let this








Leave them standing refreshed and ready for what is to come.

Let them shake water from their hair

And feel sweet relief


9 thoughts on “a blessing for youth workers in the new school year”

  1. Wow I prayed and asked God to give me a few things today, cuz I’m coming off a hard summer and into a new ministry season with a depleted tank. Thanks for the prayer. Minus the shaking the water from my hair part, I don’t have any hair, I’ll just have to shake it form my beard.

  2. Absolutely beautiful!! Water, to me is so cathartic, love this prayer

    Just retired from youth ministry after 25 years, feeling all kinds of crazy emotions but excited to see where God will lead me. Thank you for pouring into youth workers! I know that I have experienced your God given gifts of teaching and writing. Thank you Marko! May God’s presences be with you always.

  3. Thanks Marko for the God-sent encouragement. I don’t think there is ever a pause in youth ministry. I have been doing youth ministry full time for 18 years now and I am always pressed to get something else done, visit someone else, prepare for the next best thing, and just in case I would have some free time, the leadership sees an opportunity to say oh you can do this, preach that, lead this group. I assume other youth workers get poured upon too because I know that many youth workers are looked at as temporary ministry positions that can be added to for the sake of moving that person up to do “real ministry”. I wouldn’t say that youth ministry gets any easier after the years, but I would have to say it is more fulfilling. I feel that after these years I have better answers for the teens; I have better vision for them to set their eyes upon, and darn it I am used to making dumb mistakes and am able to fess up and say yea that was dumb, won’t do that again. All this to say, Marko, bring it on; I will be favoriting this blog until I get the full installment of the sabboth devotionals. BTW,Marko, if you read this, are you going to be at NYWC Nashville again. I love your classes and interaction! Hope to see you there again!
    Tim Harlos

  4. @tim, i’ll be at NYWC in nashville, but not san diego. AND i’ll be at The Summit, and would sure love to see you there! :)

  5. @Marko I haven’t been able to go to a conference in several years due to budget cuts of the church. I really debated the summit or NYWC. I wanted the best bang for the bucks and the unknown about the summit scared me off…Maybe next year, if they don’t take conference budget away again!

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