The Busy Youth Minister: Busyness Check


Josh Cousineau is a church planter at Redemption Hill in Auburn, Maine, coordinator of the Lead Conference, and a former youth minister. This piece is reposted with permission from

Busyness; It has become almost a badge of honor in Christian circles today. Everyone says they are, and we use it as the excuses to get out of almost anything. This wonderful little word has become a critical part of our vocabulary, on a far too often basis. It seems like everyone is saying they are busy, even the high school drop out who works 14 hours a week at the mall. (This is a real story!)

At the root of all this busyness is something more then simply cultural lingo: There is a heart issue. In Tim Chester’s book, A Meal with Jesus, he talks about how meals are enacting the mission of Jesus. When we eat with people we are able to share the gospel with them in a deeper way than simply handing them a tract, or knocking on their door and telling them about Jesus. Yet one of the excuses we often make for not living on mission is (yeah, you guessed it) busyness!  Chester offers this helpful examination:

Above all examine your heart. God did not make a mistake when he spun the world into being, making twenty-four-hour days instead of twenty-five-hour ones. He expects you to serve him and glorify him in those twenty-four hours. But he doesn’t expect you to do twenty-five hours’ work in a day. The person responsible for your busyness is you. We’re too busy because we’re trying to do more than God expects.

  • You may be too busy because you’re insecure and need to control life. But God is great and cares for you as a sovereign heavenly Father.
  • You may be too busy because you fear other people, and so you can’t say no. But God is glorious, and his opinion is the one that matters.
  • You may be too busy because you’re filling your life with activity in a desperate attempt to find satisfaction. But God is good, and the true source  of joy.
  • You may be too busy because you’re trying to prove yourself through your work or ministry. But God is gracious and justifies you freely through Christ’s finished work.

You’ll never create time for people until you address the issues in your heart and find rest in God’s greatness, glory, goodness and grace.

When we dig deep, we quickly understand we are busy, because there is a lack of trust in God. So think through the four above points that Chester makes and see where your heart is. If not you may just end up spending your whole life busy, but doing nothing much for the Kingdom of Jesus!

Josh Cousineau serves as the pastor of Redemption Hill Community. He previously served as youth pastor at East Auburn Baptist Church. Josh leads the Gospel Alliance, a network of pastors committed to the Gospel in New England. And if you can't tell, he's also really awesome.

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