Advice to younger pastors
Yesterday I spent the morning with a group of young UM pastors from around Western Pennsylvania. I shared with them about Crossroads’ vision and values, then a few learnings from the 28 years I’ve been a pastor.
Some of these I heard from others and found them true in my experience. Others I just discovered through trial and (mostly) error. Here they are:
1. Your first job is to be “fully-lit”
– fan the flame of love for God and others
– Can you say “Jesus is enough”
– avoid cynicism
Burn-out: watch all gauges: relational, emotional, physical, spiritual
Stress = trying to control the uncontrollable
2. Keep your Vision crystal clear
– is it from God?
– can I say it simply?
– am I acting on it daily?
3. Enforce the Values of the church and kingdom
4. Don’t adopt a model, but let DNA guide you
5. Church’s growth regulated by the pain tolerance of the sr. pastor.
6. Be committed to personal growth and be an satiable learner
7. Expect and handle criticism well
No matter what you do you will be criticized – if you are going to introduce change you will be criticized. Some people will communicate it badly, but:
a. learn what you can
b. get it for good reasons (moving ahead)
8. Remember you are in a Spiritual War
– recruit a prayer team
9. Learn to skillfully manage Change
10. ** Keep main thing the main thing: Love God and love people.