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Pastor Rob Pochek wrote an article (for Baptist Press) on five things he wished he had known as a young pastor. Here are three of them:
You are pastoring a parade. The first time a family left a church I was leading, I personally was hurt. I thought I really had messed up as a pastor; or in my more frustrated moments, I thought they “just didn’t get it.” What I failed to realize is that sometimes God removes people from your ministry for your benefit. I am sure He sometimes moves them for their benefit! It was John Maxwell I first heard say, “Every pastor pastors a parade…people always are coming and going.” As I have watched people come and go through the years, I have learned to trust solely in the Lord to bring people who would add benefit to the church. It is, after all, His church to build. Indeed, God often removes someone in order to drive us to Him, and then blesses us with someone else who adds tremendous value to the church. So, as a young pastor, be prepared for the fact that people will come and go; and trust that God is doing so for your benefit and for the good of the body.
The people who demand the most serve the least. As a young pastor, my assumption was that the people who gave and served most faithfully would demand most of my attention. The opposite was true. The people who demand the most are typically those who give the least and serve the least. Upon reflection, that makes sense. When people are faithful and obedient to give of themselves and their resources to advance God’s kingdom, they are far less inclined to believe they should have a pastor’s undivided attention. Don’t be surprised when those most disappointed in you and who criticize you the harshest are those who have the least invested in the ministry of the local church.
Preach the Word. Every year the market is filled with the latest books on how to grow a church. Some of that advice is really good, being based on solid research on churches that are growing. Others are not so good. The temptation for young pastors is to find a concept or idea they resonate with and decide to run with it; or worse, they simply attempt to copy what is working somewhere else. However, while there is much to gain from missiologists and church growth practitioners, there is one thing that must not be forgotten. The only thing we have to say that is of any value to our people is found in the Word of God. No church growth gimmicks, slick presentations or changes in style can replace the power of the man of God, hidden behind the cross, preaching Christ from all of Scripture. (Click to read full article.)