How is blowing your nose like youth work?

So I have acute rhinitis, which is medical code for ‘my nose is always full of snot.’ Here are four ways to release that snot, with pertinent ramifications for youth ministry

1. Don’t block the dam

When you blow your nose with your hanky, don’t block the nostrils. Allow the flow of air to leave your nostril easily; allowing the snot to move freely and gently in the right direction. Plugging your nose-holes while trying to simultaneously blow snot out just doesn’t work. Instead you cram bogies into your brain.

2. Jump up and down

Some gentle jumping up and down the spot, or walking heavy footed around the streets – all the time humming through your nose – will break the tendrils of your mucus’ finger holds, making your subsequent blowing far more effective.

3. Stay lubricated

The more you drink – particularly water and non-caffeinated hot teas – the more you will soften and dilute mucus. This will help the snot to flow freely. Basically, give your snot a waterslide.

4. Stay off the pain meds

Snotty noses are often accompanied by headaches – usually because we have blocked our nostrils when blowing our noses, so have crammed bogies into our brains. Popping headache pills that have codeine in them, however, will dry the snot up. Basically you just gave your bogies crampons, and locked them in place.

So how is this like youth work?

1. Don’t block the dam

Don’t hold things too tightly. Don’t stick your fingers into the proverbial nostrils of your youth ministry! Allow enough room for other people to have genuine input, for young people to be involved, and for the Holy Spirit to move. Blocking the movement, then trying desperately to blow life into it is very likely to backfire.

2. Jump up and down

Sometimes you need to be a loud and awkward voice that stands up for those who adults who don’t tend to listen to. Take opportunities to show your respect for young people by making sure their struggles are heard and their needs are met.

3. Stay lubricated

Constantly take in the good stuff. Spend time with God yourself, get into the Bible, be in church services where you’re not doing anything, and make sure you’re teaching from a place of personal learning and growth.

4. Stay off the pain meds

Don’t fall into the trap of being the complainy, gossipy, grumbly youth worker. It there’s a problem or a conflict, go and resolve it properly. Simply grumbling about how hard your youth ministry is will just dry you up and lock your problems in place.

Free the snot!
Free the youth ministry!
That is all.

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