7 Pieces of Advice I Give to Young Pastors

I love the opportunities I have to invest in young pastors. I’m encouraged by what I see in this generation of pastors entering church work. They want to learn and grow from older leaders.

I consistently try to convince them I’m not the guy to listen to, but they keep asking for advice, so I keep sharing. :)

Here are 7 pieces of advice I give to young pastors:

Become a wisdom seeker – You’ll be looked to for lots of wisdom and answers. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with wise people. Obviously, you ultimately want to hear from God, but He encouraged us throughout His Word to seek wise counsel. Also, make it a point to always have mentors in your life. (If you need help, read THIS POST.)

Prioritize your life – You’ll be pulled in many directions. Make sure you have a plan for your time and center it around what you want to accomplish and where you want to be in the years to come. Don’t neglect your family for the ministry or destroy your ministry for temporary pleasures of the world. (You might read THIS POST about protecting your family in ministry or THIS POST on balance.)

Learn the secret of contentment – You’ll need it. There’s a draw in ministry towards bigger and better. You’ll be encouraged to count numbers (and I think numbers matter, but not they are not most important.). Most likely, unless your name is Stanley, or Furtick, you won’t have one of the largest or one of the fastest growing churches. Learn to be content with who God has made you to be and what He has called you to do.

Intentionally invest in others – You can’t call yourself a disciple-maker unless you are personally making disciples. I understand the fact that your teaching on Sunday will be building disciples, but the Jesus model involves intentionally investing in a few people at a time. Jesus concentrated most of His energy on 12 guys and even more on three in His inner circle. Shouldn’t we do likewise? Always be intentionally and personally mentoring a few. It will keep you close to people in the trenches of life and help you build more solid leadership in the church.

Keep moving forward through the disappointments of life – You will have plenty of setbacks. Life and people will disappoint you. At times you may fail to understand what God is allowing to happen at the time. Keep the vision of your overall calling to God in mind and push forward, regardless of the obstacles that come your way.

Ground your theology in Jesus – There are plenty of theological methodologies around. Someone will be happy to shape your theology for you. I’m not suggesting you can’t script it if it makes it easier for you to understand, nor am I saying not to grow in knowledge. You should always be growing. I am suggesting you never get beyond the simple child-like, overwhelming awe of who Jesus is and how He loves you. Center your beliefs firmly and completely around the person of Christ. Set Christ as your end goal, desire to be like Him, discipline yourself, then push forward. Invite others to follow likewise. Let the grace, glory and goodness of Jesus shape your life and ministry.

God knows best – As a pastor, there will be plenty of voices in your life. You’ll have plenty of advice from deacons, elders, Sunday school teachers and flower committee members. Appreciate the suggestions of everyone, but on matters of utmost importance, hold out for a word from God.

Of course, this is good advice for all ages (and not just pastors), but the majority of questions I receive are from younger pastors. I’m not sure what that says about us older pastors, but it is been true in my ministry that the younger a pastor is the more willing to heed advice. (Have you seen that to be true?)

What advice do you have for young pastors?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add video comment

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

23 thoughts on “7 Pieces of Advice I Give to Young Pastors

  1. When I read your words, I felt imparted with wisdom, as a young preacher, many people look up to me in and out of my country,am mentoring thousands of people in the field of Homiletics and Theoly, my Spirit father hardly meets with me unless we have one conference we are both preaching at, although everybody fills I don’t need mentorship anymore I fell I need more of it, with my proggramme for Healing and deliverance ministry I feel that you Spoke precisely and concisely throw God, pls I would love to get to know you better

    Yours in the Lord Kenneth

  2. I love that you said "ground your theology in Jesus". Biblically speaking, if we do that then everything will fall into place in this life and thereafter. Always reading so thanks for always writing, Ron.

  3. Ron! Though the advice were meant for young pastors, I too could apply the same in my life. "Keep moving forward through the disappointments of life" is a great principle. I find this more tougher to implement in my practical life.

    • Thanks Uma. Though my audience is largely those in vocational ministry, I'm always hoping the message can be universally applied.

  4. These are all good. I would add, that they have one audience – God. Young pastors must commit early in their ministry that they aim to please only One – God. I see this as a weakness today (all since Genesis) that pastor tend to want to please man. This will lead down a very wrong road. But when they aim only to please God, then when men praise or hate them they remain faithful and true to their calling.

  5. Read Ron's blog daily….and pray on it! I just know God loves it for his daily read too. Great words from a very humble servant of our Lord.

    Ron, I remember listening to you on WJZM (during the 9 AM show with Chuck Edwards a time or two). You were saying the same thing back then (and just think of how many change their tune to fit with whom they are talking to or the crowd they are in)…it's just great to have a blog to follow now as well.

    Thanks for your ministry.

  6. Thank you for thinking of us young pastors. I appreciate the time you take to share your wisdom on the blog. Although it's hard to find older more experienced pastors to connect with, it's something I need to keep pursuing!

  7. I especially appreciate "Intentionally invest in others." It's very easy to get all wrapped up in lesson prep and event planning and forget about the people. Thanks, Ron.