31. Write things down! Are you supposed to get back with someone?
Did you promise to call someone else? Are you supposed to prepare for a meeting?
Write these things down. You might be surprised to know how many people never do
this. As a result, some of these people develop a reputation for rarely returning phone calls and not following through on various commitments.
32. Cultivate your prayer life. I came across this line somewhere, "Prayer is not the only thing we do, but it is the most
important thing we do." Nothing is more important than paying
attention to one’s own interior life before the Lord. This attentiveness begins with prayer.
Be kind to custodians, receptionists, administrative assistants, secretaries, mother’s day out
teachers, and others who are sometimes taken for granted in churches. Your integrity and true self are lived out every day before these people.
34. Beware of using the church to satisfy your unmet
emotional needs and deep wounds from earlier years. There are far too
many ministers who struggle with tremendous anger, which often has
nothing to do with the congregation they presently serve. Still others function with a deep sense of personal insecurity. If such needs and wounds are not dealt with, relationships will often be damaged and even severed.
35. Place a serious priority on becoming more and more
like Jesus. You may be a good public speaker. You may be a fine scholar. You may be a very gifted person in many ways. Yet, regardless of one’s gifts, there is absolutely no substitute for a life that is being continually shaped and formed into the image of Jesus. Something is wrong when Christian people are not serious and intentional about being formed into the likeness of Jesus.
36. Don’t worry about who gets the credit. At times
you will see others get credit for your hard work and ideas. On the
other hand, you may sometimes get far more credit than you might deserve. Just expect this to happen.
37. Work hard but avoid trying to call attention to your hard work and long hours. Many, many other people in your congregation work hard and often work long hours. On the other hand, those of us who are perceived to be lazy will quickly lose the respect of others in the congregation.
38. Affirm others when they learn and are inspired by
the good teaching of other ministers. Don’t allow your own insecurities to
dampen the joy they are experiencing as the result of another person’s
ministry. On many occasions, various persons from our church have approached me and said, "I went to such and such church last Sunday and heard an outstanding sermon." That is not a threat to me. In fact, I am grateful that this person can visit a church and be blessed by another person’s preaching.
39. Show up. No you can’t go to every event and be everywhere. In fact, the larger the congregation the more impossible this is. Yet, it is important to seek
the wisdom and good judgment to know which events, situations, etc. are more important than others.
40. Pray for the wisdom to know what is
appropriate behavior in various situations. Many people have made
mistakes in judgment by saying what was inappropriate for the
occasion. Sometimes this is done when we just are not engaged emotionally with the situation at hand. For example, if I am in a hospital room and am about to pray for someone who is to undergo very serious surgery, that situation will govern what I talk about in that room. This is probably not the time or place to talk about how tired I am feeling. (You might think this is obvious. Perhaps it is not so obvious to some of us.)
41. Be quick to apologize. Defensiveness only advertises your immaturity.