I remember when I was a young pastor at the beginning of my ministry career. I was so eager to learn, so desperate to soak up as much information as I could get my hands. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about how to be a great pastor.
If you’re a young pastor, I would imagine you’re experiencing that same sense of eagerness. You want to learn. You want to grow. You want to gain as much knowledge and wisdom as you can. That’s where I want to help.
In my several decades of ministry, I’ve learned quite a bit, and I would love nothing more than to pass on what I’ve learned to you. That being said, below I’ve compiled a list of short, simple, yet super helpful pieces of advice to help you as your start your career in ministry.
- Get excited!
When you’re first starting out in ministry and you’re asking for advice from other pastors, it’s very common to hear advice rooted in negativity. You’ll hear horror story after horror story of people’s ministry experiences, and these stories can get quite discouraging as they start to pile up. But don’t let other people’s difficult ministry stories deter you from your calling. You have a lot to be excited about. While it’s true that ministry is tough, it’s also extremely rewarding and fulfilling. So stay positive and hopeful as you press on, and look forward to all that God has in store for you and your ministry.
- Learn to delegate.
It’s easier than you think to get a superhero complex whenever you find yourself in a leadership position. You think you can do everything and handle everything. But nothing could be further from the truth. You’re going to need help if you want your ministry to be successful. This is why learning to delegate is key. Ask for help where you can. Don’t believe the lie that you’re on your own. And surround yourself with people who are willing to work alongside you to further the kingdom.
- Remember names.
Your job as a pastor is highly relational. Therefore, you’re going to be meeting new people constantly. As you are meeting people, make a point to learn their names and use them in later conversations and meetings. Nothing makes people feel more seen than when you remember their name. So take the time to really listen, repeat their name back to them when you meet, and be intentional about using people’s names in conversation to invest in the relationships you’re building in your ministry.
- Continue learning.
That eagerness to learn we talked about earlier – that’s an important quality to hold onto throughout your ministry. You will never get to the point where you know it all, even if you end up pastoring for six or seven decades. That being said, make a point to keep learning and keep hungering for more knowledge and wisdom. The more you grow in these areas, the more your ministry and congregation will benefit.