- Don’t do ministry alone
- Don’t hog the platform
- Don’t alienate the team
- Don’t treat everyone the same
- Don’t make tons of changes … yet
- Don’t reinvent the wheel
- Don’t let a month go by without reading a book
- Don’t sacrifice your Sabbath
- Don’t always say yes
- Don’t walk fast everywhere you go
- Don’t lock yourself in the office all of the time
- Don’t always be out of the office
- Don’t wish for greener churches – they don’t exist
- Don’t give up on your senior pastor
- Don’t leave the van messy
- Don’t expect a raise
- Don’t raise everyone else’s kids and not your own
- Don’t stop believing
Archives For josh
Being a Pastor is hard. One of the recurring themes of this community is that there is a need for support because being a Rookie Pastor is so hard.
In light of this I found the results of the General Social Survey of the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago so interesting. Using a formula they determined the occupations that result in the happiest individuals.
“Since experts say that social interaction drives job satisfaction, it makes sense that clergy are happiest of all,” Christian Science Monitor writes. “Social interaction and helping people [is a] combination that’s tough to beat for job happiness.”
The full list follows:
3. Physical therapists
5. Special education teachers
9. Financial services sales agents
10. Operating engineers
Sometimes as pastors we think about doing something else with our lives. Maybe the grass is greener in our minds or we are running from a problem, whatever it is I think pastors consider it.
So you pastors what is your reaction to this list?
This evening on the Mars Hill website it was announced that Rob Bell will be leaving his position at the church this winter, with his last sermon happening in December.
According to the released statement Bell is going to be pursuing opportunities to share with a “broader audience”.
I have no interest in trying to figure out if there is anything behind this.
The conversation that he reignited with his book Love Wins got plenty of attention here at Rookie Pastor (or whatever this was called at the time). So even though the blog’s focus has shifted I feel that I should be comment.
I still stand by the review. He raised questions and created tension that is in the end helpful to the larger Christian community. Asking questions is not a threat to Truth.
However, in light of this most recent announcement I have two thoughts.
Who is your spiritual authority?
We all have them in our lives, sometimes we are our own spiritual authority. This is also known as idolatry.
A fellow Rookie Pastor challenged me with this idea at our most recent lunch event. He was recommending the book A Tale of Three Kings that focused on this issue of spiritual authority.
As a Rookie Pastor we often fall victim to this idea that we hold the key to successful ministry. If only our ideas were implemented or if our voices were listened to, then things would really turn around. We may not say this as blatantly but we believe it. Modern day Gnosticism, or at least the belief that your ideas are original and no one else reads Jim Collins.
If it isn’t blatant pride that keeps us from submitting to the spiritual authority in our lives it is a “woe is me” attitude. They don’t understand or they don’t listen. “They” sound like horrible people and to you they are. As a Rookie Pastor when decisions are being made without you the feelings of being the last picked at recess come rushing back.
This is part of a larger blog series on Becoming a Better Preacher.
I started preaching when I was 17. After one sermon my grandpa told me about how he had heard that Charles Stanley has never preached the same sermon twice.
Now I don’t know if this is accurate or not, but it stuck with me. There is this idea I believed (and I don’t think I’m that unique) that every sermon I ever preached had to be completely unique.
The first time I reused a story or application I felt guilty, but no one knew but me.
Since then I have come to realize that in not using something I have preached previously or something someone else has said I only limit my effectiveness. This is a topic I have covered previously.
In terms of developing the craft of preaching listening to someone else is important but preaching from someone else’s notes can be a key breakthrough.
- A new student told me I was scary. I assumed it was because I’m a big guy but I found out it was because I was too nice, this was creepy to her. There was probably some awkward teenager in this equation, but I really think she didn’t trust an adult who seemed nice. This bothers me.
- Coming out of Story 2011 I didn’t have fresh inspiration to create, I have clear determination. Whether you call it art, creativity, or work there is nothing mystical about it. You produce a truck load for a pound of something useful.
- When I share with others what I’m trying to do with Rookie Pastor two things usually result for me: encouragement and pressure. The need is obvious to them so it feels good to feel like I’m ministering to others, but pressure usually follows. When you tell someone else your dream, you owe it to them to carry it out.
- I have too many volunteers at the moment. I’ve worked with students in some capacity for 8 years, I’ve never had the problem of having too many good leaders. This isn’t a leadership challenge you read about.
- Kicked off a new small group with adults tonight and even though I described myself as a “B.S.’er” people participated and seemed to enjoy it. Incredible to step back and realize that something bigger is going on.
- This Wednesday I’m gathering with other Rookie Pastors from the Indy area for a lunch event. I love these events and the leaders I get to learn from. If you are a Rookie Pastor in the Indy area and are interested let me know and I’ll send you an invite.
- Planning future Rookie Pastor lunch events and am being blown away by the people who are potentially coming on board to help. Looking forward to sharing some big news (to me) in the coming weeks.
Below is a re-post from Jason Rodenbeck that was originally published by More at Stake. Christian risk takers is their community and they consistently push in a healthy way. Jason shares the process he went through getting ready for the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 in an honest, compelling, and extremely helpful way. Asking the right questions and getting to the deeper issues is crucial before approaching a Sunday with the loaded emotion of 9/11.
Jason’s post is being republished here with his permission because I felt that this community could benefit from it and as Rookie Pastors if you haven’t navigated these issues you will.
Well, this Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. And, in honesty, as a preacher I was a little concerned how I would handle it. Granted, my church is pretty small, so I assumed that whatever I decided to do wasn’t going to be on the evening news that night. That said, I was really torn about how to acknowledge it—I knew I’d have to. It’s a topic that tends to take over the imaginations of those of us who witnessed it.
What was my struggle, exactly? Well, I’ve been preaching through the gospel of Matthew for over three years now and what I’ve discovered is that Jesus, in preaching the Kingdom of God, was preaching a kingdom of peace—one which rejects violence as a solution to evil. In fact, it’s a kingdom which rejects all of the power systems of the cultural, religious, and political power elite because it sees them as corrupt and violent manifestations of a broken world. They are the means by which powerful people grasp and wield power over the powerless. I am convinced that Jesus always found himself challenging those at the top of these systems and that that is why those at the top of those systems reacted to him with violence. I am also convinced that he taught us that if we follow him on the way of the cross, we can be assured that the world will respond to us as it did to him.
Story is an odd conference.
Distinctively Christian, but intentionally not limited to people who work at a church or run a non profit. Ben Arment puts this together and I have had the privilege of tracking with Ben through a coaching program called Dream Year.
Instead of putting these thoughts in a word document or conference magazine I won’t look at much, I’ll put them here.
Yesterday I put together some thoughts on the speakers and will be continuing that today. Feel free to add your own thoughts or the recaps of your own in the comments.
Ann Voskamp- Author of One Thousand Gifts
Skye Jethani- Pastor and Author of Great Commodity and With
Darren Whitehead- Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek
Ed Saxon- Producer of Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Adaptation and several others
Angela Thomas and Matthew West: Author and Musician collaborating
Lauren Chandler: Creative, Worship Leader, Pastor’s Wife
Ian Morgan Cron: Priest and Author
I’m fortunate enough to be attending Story in Chicago. As I try to capture some ideas I figured I would share here the things that are longer than tweets.
If you are attending feel free to comment with your recaps as well. This is the recap of Day 1 featuring dispatches from:
Ed Dobson: Pastor and Author who made me cry
Tom Ryan: from Threadless.com
Sean Astin: Actor: Rudy
Esther Havens: Photographer for Charity: Water
Bethany Hoang- from International Justice Mission
Kyle Cooper- Creator of titile sequences for films
This is one of those books, but at least Bryan Allain gives you some things to laugh about while showing you exactly why you don’t get the traffic you want and what to do to change it.
Blogging is one of those things that seemingly everyone has tried but few stick with it. Bryan has built a successful blog and has wisdom to share, thankfully he also has some humor.
In this e-book Bryan gives you little gift snippets of humor. Kind of like the water stations during a marathon but instead of Gatorade you get a joke about James Taylor lyrics.
If you blog you are going to want to read this book because it is practical. Clear steps with daily action points can start moving your blog towards focus and your intended audience.