30 years of pastoring have taught me this
In 1989 I graduated seminary and took a position as Associate Pastor at a church plant. 30 years later I can say I’ve learned a few things. They include:
- Following Jesus is a lifelong lesson in humility.
- It’s good to let Scripture and the Holy Spirit review and revise my most deeply held beliefs.
- Listening to people who disagree with you is the only way to grow.
- Following Jesus is the best way to avoid getting lost.
- God never fails to show up on time. Not my time, but his time.
- Ministry is messy, because it involves people, and we’ve all got messed up lives. Some of us are better at hiding the mess, but it’s there.
- Everybody avoids conflict. If they don’t, there’s something seriously wrong with them. Conflict is hard, painful, and seldom produces the results you hope for.
- Jesus is better than you imagined. (Thank you Jonathan Merritt)
- Being right is not the most important thing in life.
- Everyone has a story that involves pain; until they share it you don’t really know them.
- We often expect superhuman qualities from our leaders, then wonder why they fail.
- It’s easy to overestimate our abilities, but impossible to overestimate God’s.
- Everybody wants to be fruitful, but nobody wants to be pruned.
- Jesus is the most misunderstood person in our culture.
- We believe many things about ourselves and our world that simply aren’t true.
There are multiple stories behind each of these. I’ve shared some over the years. Others are still too raw. This is not a final list. Stay tuned for more, and write your comments below.