“Seven Mistakes I’ve Made in Ministry” by Thom Rainer

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Thom Rainer outlines these mistakes in a recent article at Baptist Press (HT: Zach Nielsen):

  1. I would spend more time in the Word and in prayer. I would follow the biblical pattern of the church leaders in Acts 6:4: "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry."
  2. I would give my family more time. No one remembers the church committee meetings I missed. My family still remembers those times I was too busy for them.
  3. I would spend more time sharing my faith. Paul told the young pastor Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). Those words apply to all pastors today.
  4. I would love the community where I lived more. I would try to live more incarnationally. I would prayerfully seek to see how I could serve the community rather than see it as a population pool of prospects for my church.
  5. I would lead the church to focus more on the nations. I would lead in helping our church grasp that missions is more than just an annual offering.
  6. I would focus on critics less. Most church members have no idea how many criticisms and "suggestions" a pastor gets each week. It can be overwhelming and distracting. Though I would be willing to listen, I would not obsess about every negative comment that was made about me.
  7. I would accept the reality that I can’t be omnipresent. So many people and groups want the presence of the pastor. Saying "no" can be difficult, but it can free the pastor to focus on some of the priorities noted above.
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