I had a reality check this week when a “young” minister called me wanting some ministry advise from an “older minister.” What exactly did he mean by “older preacher?” Come to think of it, maybe he was wanting Patrick Mead’s number … he’s much older and much wiser than I am.
Funny thing was, I’m usually the one calling the “older preachers” asking them for advice. I’m NOT the older preacher! Who knows, maybe that means I’m getting … old?
I’m no ministry expert, but I got to thinking about his question … so here’s a few things I’d tell any young minister just starting into ministry…
- Don’t be afraid to dream big or try things that might not work. It’s better to make mistakes or sometimes fail then never try at all.
- It’s okay to preach sermons on hell because it is a biblical topic. But if you’re wanting to motivate people to follow Jesus, do it by preaching God’s love, not by scaring the hell out of them.
- If you’ll smother those who gripe and complain with love, grace and patience, they’re more likely to become your friend instead of your enemy.
- Ministry is about people. When you’re no longer involved in people’s lives, you’re no longer involved in ministry.
- Nothing will kill a ministry quicker than the three G’s – gold, glory and girls. Avoid them.
- There’s a fine line between faith and stupidity. Knowing the difference can make all the difference.
- Remember who you’re serving and working for … it’s God you’re striving to please.
- You won’t please everyone all the time, so don’t try. Some people just won’t like you, and that’s okay.
- Keep a level head … you’re not nearly as great as some people think you are.
- Be patient … it takes a while for people and churches to change.
- When people in the church hurt you, love them anyway.
- Never stop learning and never stop trying to improve.
- Get out among the people. You’ll never save the world sitting in your office designing a cool bulletin heading or blog design.
- Delegate. You can’t do everything, so don’t try.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Take a risk.
- See lost people as … people that God loves deeply, not as mission projects or prospects.
- Take as much time nurturing your own spiritual life as you do others.
- Family is more important than your ministry. Put your family first.
- Ministry is not a job. When you begin to see it as just a job, you need to get out of ministry and do something else.
- It’s okay to rest, relax and sometimes go hide. Jesus did.
- Seek wisdom from others. There’s some smart people out there … just don’t call them wanting advice from an “old minister.”