I have been a pastor for about 15 years now, and it has mostly been a fantastic journey with some of the best people on the planet. I did not attend seminary or have much formal training when I started out, but I sure wish someone had told me these ten things in the beginning.
1. Sheep bites can’t kill me, but the gnawing will make life miserable a few days each year.
2. No matter how hard I try, I will always be tempted to measure my success by attendance numbers.
3. The best thing I can do to build and grow God’s kingdom is to be myself and not compare myself to others.
4. It takes a long time to become old friends so nurture and cherish the old friendships God has given me.
5. I will only have as much spiritual authority as I am willing to submit to myself. Independence will destroy me, but there is power in submission.
6. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Challenge people to go deeper even when the message is unpopular.
7. My brain will always feel like scrambled eggs on Sunday afternoon so don’t make any major decisions until Tuesday morning.
8. Some people will only trust you after a really long time of proving yourself, and another group will never trust you no matter what you do.
9. Don’t feel guilty about taking a Sabbath. It was not a suggestion.
10. I will never regret spending time with my family instead of saying yes to a church meeting that someone else could lead.
I hope this is helpful to other young leaders who are launching out into ministry. What are some of things you wish someone had told you before you started ministry in the local church?