2. Church is not about you, whether it’s flourishing or dying all around you. Preach Jesus, know the Word, obey Scripture, love the people. Get yourself out of the way! He must increase; you must decrease. John the Baptist said that – and a few days later he was beheaded. It’s not your church, it’s His church and He is the builder of it – not you.
3. The reason some people hate your guts rarely has anything to actually do with you. Some people are sitting in the congregation angry at God, angry with their jobs, angry with themselves. When their frustration boils over, they are looking for the easiest target – and God’s spokesperson usually ends up in their sights. So try not to take everything personally, (which easier said than done and it will be one of the most difficult skills for you to learn).
4. People will keep making more and more demands of you until you muster up the fortitude to take ownership of your own agenda. If you don’t plan your schedule, others will plan it for you.
5. As a pastor, you will always have someone angry with you. You are asking people to swim upstream in a downstream world, against the current. You are calling people to obey God – a God they have never seen. You are insisting that church members be generous givers, urging them to love one another (and the unlovable), and warning them of God’s judgment.
8. Granted, you don’t pray very well. No one does. Pray anyway. “We don’t know how to pray as we should” (Romans 8:26). But don’t let that stop you. The Holy Spirit makes up the gap. Besides, this is how you stay in touch with the Lord.
9. Pastors are mood-setters for the congregation. This is why I believe pastors should serve as hosts of the worship service on Sunday (and not just bring a sermon at the appointed time). By his joy, the victory he enjoys in Christ, and his love for people, he can make a world of difference in how people worship.
10. There are times to leave the office (pastors study) and have coffee with the staff – and anyone else in the membership – in a relaxed atmosphere. This is every bit as important as anything else in your (and their) day. Laugh with them. Listen to their stories of children and grandchildren, how they dealt with a crank neighbor, what happened at work the other day. When you get back to the study, you will have several sermon illustrations and be forever bonded with those terrific people.