Sunday, November 3, 2013

Advice for Pastors

I’ve been doing this 25 years.  With a Master of Divinity degree in 1988, I was called to serve as pastor of Coolidge Memorial Baptist Church in Coolidge, GA.  My home church, Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC, ordained me in November 1988.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I have served three churches over this quarter century, and I may still not know what I'm doing. 

For what it’s worth, here are a few of my observations:

  • You don’t do this for the money. 
  • Ministry will take over your life (if you let it), and you won’t have a life.
  • Ministry gets real when you get real.
  • Ministry gets fun when you stop taking yourself so seriously.
  • God is hammering away at you.  He always will be.
  • Truth is more important than any planning tool or strategy.
  • You are in this for truth, not accomplishment.
  • God will take care of you.
  • Don’t fake vision.  It won’t work.
  • You know God’s ultimate vision:  reconciliation through the cross.
  • Keep vision simple and let God bring out the details over time.
  • The silver bullet is the cross.
  • You can’t do it all, but you can try.  Trying to do it all will steal your soul.
  • Trust God to be at work.
  • Your sin of avoiding Sabbath is destroying your soul and your ministry.
  • Keep it in perspective.  Most problems are not that big a deal.
  • Jesus cares more about your soul than your ministry.
  • Keep a good attitude.  Your joy means more than your most inspired plans.
  • Give it up.  Let God have a turn.
  • Don’t give up.  You are doing more good than you realize.
  • Laugh.   At yourself, at your first-world problems.
  • Have fun on purpose.  Make it a priority.
  • The joy of the Lord is your strength. 
Here’s to the next 25 years of ministry!