41 Things Ministers Ought to Know (Part 3)

21. Work to become aware of both your thinking and your feelings.  Self-awareness can help you can bring some clarity as to what you need to be praying for.


22. Avoid shortcuts.  Don’t dodge the hard books or the tedious study just because you are now out of seminary.  Pay now or pay later.


23. Learn to enjoy humor that is directed at you.  When people feel comfortable with you, they may begin to tease you.  Don’t let your insecurities turn those moments into a big deal.


24. Remember that those who are outside a system will see the dysfunction of a group much easier than those who have been in the middle of that situation for years.  Yet, don’t be surprised when those in that system (church) deny there is a problem.  Leadership, however, means that you stop walking around the "big elephant in the room."  You choose, at some point, to deal with that reality.


25. Over the weekend, take time to review the previous week.  Then, lay out your plan for the previous week.  Review all to do lists, project lists, your calendar etc.  (See David Allen’s Getting Things Done).


26. Take care of your body.  We are whole persons, body, mind, emotions, etc. The whole person needs care and maintenance.  I work out 4 days a week and that time really helps with stress.


27. Thank people.  Consider about all of the people around you who need to be thanked.  In far too many churches, there is a critical shortage of people who express gratitude to others. 


28. Develop friends outside the church (like a normal person).  This is one of the most important things I’ve done in the last 16 years of ministry.  (I wish I had started this earlier).


29. Beware of sabotage.  Edwin Friedman (Generation to Generation) taught that when you behave in a dysfunctional system as a healthy person, someone will attempt to sabotage you.


30. Pay attention to people.  Nothing can surpass the value of being a good listener.

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