Rob Pochek recently wrote an article (read it here from SermonCentral.com) which found its way to my inbox. The article described five things he wish he’d known when he started pastoring. Here is his list:
1. You are pastoring a parade.
2. The people who demand the most serve the least.
3. You will see ugly behavior.
4. You are irreplaceable (But not at Church)
5. Preach the Word
Rob’s list is great. His first one hits really close to home and reminds me of a recent blog by my friend Pastor Joe at Above Tree Line (The Sea Takes the Rest). Numbers 2 and 3 are undeniably true. Not only have I found that the biggest troublemakers give the least in terms of service, they usually contribute less in terms of financial resources.
#4 is powerful. The only place I am irreplaceable is in my family. Only I can be a husband to my beautiful Mrs. Greenbean and be a father to the Sprouts.
#5–Yeah baby! What he alludes to is that fads come and go as to how to “do” church and there is never a shortage of new ideas. These are okay to try and to implement, but in the midst of it don’t forget that Scripture, theology, doctrine, and preaching for life-change are always the centerpiece of pastoral ministry.
Now, I like his five, but I couldn’t help myself. His are so serious and well meaning. I, however, have found that there are five other things I would have preferred someone tell me before I started in pastoral ministry.
1. How to baptize. No one teaches you this. I almost killed the first person I baptized.
2. Most Bible study curriculum is awful and never actually teaches anything other than truisms.
3. There are options to hard-tack Communion wafers. Man shall not live by cardboard alone.
4. You will always be at the mercy of audio-visual people in the back. They control your destiny.
5. Most people who come to you and say, “I feel called to the ministry” aren’t.
Okay, that is my five. I’m off to do something fun now.