I was in the business world longer than I’ve been a pastor, but I came into vocational ministry with years of experience with life and leadership. It has been amazing to watch how those principles have transferred for God’s glory and my use. I am frequently asked by pastors if I have any advice for those who are starting in ministry.
With that in mind, here are 7 pieces of advice I would share with all pastors:
1. Don’t trade searching for a “Word” on Sunday for searching for a personal relationship with God. That’s where you’ll get your “word”.
2. Don’t allow a need to protect your reputation to keep you from welcoming accountability. You need it!
3. Never compromise one Biblical principle to keep another (shepherding the flock/caring for your family). Your family needs you and so does your church.
4. Don’t waste energy on those people who aren’t trying to help you build your ministry, but trying instead to tear it down. (My friend David Foster says, “Seek your approval among the people to whom God has sent you to minister.“)
5. Allow criticism to shape you, but not control you. Every leader doing anything of value attracts critics. Criticism usually has elements of merit, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in what you do.
6. Don’t get so comfortable to where you refuse to walk by faith. God called you to this.
7. Life is always full of heartache and always full of joy. Keeping your eyes on Jesus helps you navigate through the extremes of life and experience the joy.
Pastors, what advice would you share with others entering the ministry?