Suppose you were asked to pass on some of the most
valuable lessons you have learned as a minister/preacher/pastor/church leader, etc. What
would you want to pass on? (See part 1 and part 2 and part 3.)
The following are a few truths I would want to pass on:
- Know for whom you work. It is possible to not please people but at the same time be very pleasing to God. On the other hand, it is possible to be very pleasing to people and yet not be pleasing to God.
- Relax and work hard. Yes, there is a lot to do. (There will ALWAYS be a lot to do.) However, being on edge about all you have to do is not the answer. I do not ever remember coming home in the evening thinking that I had done everything that needed or could have been done. Pray. Do what you can do and trust that God is at work.
- Love the church. Some people are easy to love. Some are quite difficult to love. Pray for a heart that loves these people.
- Be a good steward of your mind, emotions, and body. Many ministers get into trouble by not taking care of themselves. Yes, I can burn the candle at both ends and pay little attention to my body. However, that is such a short-term view of life and ministry. What I don’t want is for people to hear me preach every week and think, "What he is saying is true. I just don’t want to live like him."
- Continue to grow, mature, and develop. Yet, try to stay connected with all kinds of people. Far too many people are interested in staying connected only with people who think like them and who hold the same perspective. It is important that Christian ministers model a life that attempts to stay connected with those in our church who may hold very different opinions.
- Develop and nurture friendships both inside and outside the congregation that you serve. Yes, sometimes that is very difficult. I am really convinced, however, that it is worth the effort.
- Be a lifelong learner. Cultivate your curiosity.
This is only a beginning. What would you add to this list?