LTCi 0 – 3 ANTS
In an encounter of epic proportions LTCi limped through their encounter with ANTS on a rain soaked pitch in Kudlige yesterday. Conditions underfoot made playing attractive football impossible and it became clear that ANTS adapted the more effectively of two evenly matched teams. Commitment was high from both sides and the match was effectively sealed by three mistakes from LTCi which gifted goals to the visitors.
“It was like playing on the deck of the Titanic as it gradually submerged” said one distraught LTCi soccer superstar. Another added, “More like water polo than football”. In an admission of his disappointment the team coach was quoted as saying, “Rubbish”, though we don’t know if that referred to the conditions or performance of the team.
Aaron is such a funny boy – sent me this photo, saying it made him look like me – umm.
[In case you wonder why – he’s wearing a ‘sumo suit’]
Continuing the list of really helpful stuff – you might not agree with all of it but you can learn from this. Originally found here.
I don’t think I am all that wise, but I have made mistakes. I also know some of the ways in which I need to grow. So at the risk of overdoing it, here are twenty-five other things I wish I knew when I started out in ministry (and am still learning now):
21. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get in touch with seminary profs. Try to get a top notch speaker in once in awhile. Make contact with churches your respect. Build a network and learn from others.
22. Keep reading. Please keep reading. Boldly ask for a book allowance. The rule is not absolute, but I question a man’s call to ministry if he does not like to read.
23. Man is not justified by preaching. Some sermons are a home run. Other times you’re lucky to bunt your way on.
24. Don’t preach your issues from seminary. I can almost guarantee no one in your church doubts the Pauline authorship of Ephesians. It says “Paul” in their Bibles so they’re good to go.
25. Sometime in your first two years, preach about prayer, evangelism, giving, and the authority of Scripture.
26. Figure out what you believe about divorce and remarriage, and figure it out soon.
27. Build consensus whenever possible, but when you have to make an unpopular decision that will be unpopular don’t insist that everyone like it. Take your lumps and move on.
28. Be comfortable in your own shoes. Preach through your own personality. Learn from, but don’t try to clone, your heroes.
29. Accept the blessings God gives (and does not give) you. Some pastors have two talents. Some of five or ten. That’s just the way it is. Don’t be jealous of those with more or look down on those with fewer.
30. Develop warm relationship with other evangelical churches in your area. Pray for these churches. Direct people to their ministries when the situation fits. Be happy for their blessings. I realized early on I didn’t really want revival unless I was fine with it starting at the church down the street.
31. Pray that the Lord won’t give you success until you don’t want it anymore.
32. Don’t assume the worst about people, even if you’re suspicions are right. Better to be a little naive than a lot cynical.
33. Make time to make friends. In the long run neither you nor your church will regret the hours invested in personal relationships with other pastors, old friends from seminary, and kindred spirits in the congregation.
34. Have low expectations for people this year and high expectations for people in five years.
35. Figure out the membership class and member care. Set the bar high for both.
36. Train and evaluate potential leaders. You can endure a lot of hardship if you feel energized and supported by your closest leaders. Ministry will be a nightmare if your leadership team lacks unity and maturity.
37. Focus on the basics. Don’t get distracted with the church website or the newsletter layout. The pastor who works hard at his sermons, genuinely likes people, and really loves the Lord will be used by God.
38. Don’t expect the search committee to have any clue what they’re doing.
39. Love your wife. Spend time with your kids. Be very afraid if you no longer look forward to going home at the end of the day.
40. Be generous in giving credit to others and stingy in passing around the blame.
41. Learn to ignore some comments, some controversies, and, yes, some people.
42. Never use the pulpit to settle old scores. Do use it to honor faithful saints and co-laborers.
43. Tell your congregation you love them and are glad to be their pastor.
44. What your people need most from you is your own personal holiness. People want a pastor who has been with God.
45. Keep your passions in proportion. Not everything matters as much as everything else. Keep the gospel front and center.
This post written by Kevin DeYoung is full of great practical advice and help for you as you study and then move out into ministry. Read and meditate on this and it will serve your body and soul well in the coming years.
Twenty things I wish I knew when I began the ministry (and am still learning now):
1. Take advantage of opportunities to be taught by others. Get the most out of books, lectures, and special speakers in seminary, because soon you’ll be be doing all the putting out with few people to put it in to you.
2. Beware of closing your heart to people.
3. Be a pastor for the whole church, not just part of it (don’t be just one group’s champion).
4. Establish your priorities at the church early and clearly. I suggest: preach, pray, and people.
5. Work hard to foster deep spiritual fellowship with your closest leaders (e.g., staff, elders, deacons).
6. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Expect change to happen very slowly. Whenever possible, work for desired change by positive reinforcement, rather than by criticism.
7. While you shouldn’t attempt too much change right away, if you are forced to make a hard change or take a tough stand, do it decisively.
8. Expect people to leave your church when you come. Be kind when they do. Follow up, ask why they’re leaving, pray for them, then move on. Don’t let a few folks on the way out determine the plans for the rest of the church.
9. Be personal instead of academic. A conversation is usually better than a paper.
10. Beware of technology: wasting time on power points, frittering hours away on Facebook, getting bogged down in emails, doing all your pastoral communication by email instead of phone calls or personal visits.
11. If you are good at administration, don’t do too much. If you are bad, get someone to help you immediately.
12. Plan for prayer days.
13. Learn to think in 5 year, 1 year, 6 months, and 1 month increments. When you start out at a church you’ll feel three months behind everyone else; you need to be six months ahead.
14. Guard your day off and don’t let your work creep into your evenings at home. You’ll be miserable and ineffective if your life becomes a rhythm-less mush.
15. Spend more time getting to know your people and less time trying to figure out the culture of your city.
16. Remember: you are not the only special person in the church. Don’t get offended if you’re not invited to a wedding or they ask the other guy to do the baptism. It’s silly to feel threatened when congregants are closer to another staff member or lay leader than they are to you.
17. Don’t minister just to keep people happy. Don’t be the pastor who does all the counseling, all the teaching, and all the praying because “that’s what people expect” and you “don’t want to let them down.” You’ll burn yourself out, stifle the gifts of others, and keep your church smaller than it needs to be.
18. Don’t compare. There are dozens of factors that make a church successful. Many of them are out of your control–most notably, God’s sovereignty.
19. Christian maturity entails more than theological acumen. Don’t assume the dudes reading Bavinck will be the most fruitful, faithful, and effective leaders. Could be, but that’s far from certain.
20. God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble. Pray this into your soul before and after every sermon.
Aaron is such a funny boy – sent me this photo, saying it made him look like me – umm.
I was interested to read a piece by Tim Elmore (http://www.growingleaders.com/) on the differences between generation Y (born in the early 80’s) and what he terms generation iY born in the 1990’s. The bold italic sections are Generation iY. The picture does not look particularly rosy when you consider the qualities listed. Such shifts would appear to have massive implications for churches, their activities and outreach, and also for us as teachers.
EARLY GENERATION Y
1. Born in the 1980s
1. Born in the 1990s
2. Highly compassionate
2. Low empathy
3. Slack-tivists (Want to be involved a little)
4. Technology is a tool
4. Technology is an appendage to my body
5. Passionate about a cause
5. Fashionate about a cause (If my friends do it)
6. Civic minded
7. Ambitious about the future
7. Ambiguous about the future
8. Accelerated growth
8. Postponed maturation
Next week I shall be distributing evaluation forms for you to let me know exactly what you think of my lecturing. I am currently at the first draft stage and have asked the other lecturers at LTCi for their input. But I would also value your comments / suggestions on questions that need rephrasing, questions that I should be asking, or any other changes you would like to see. The forms are attached below in Word and pdf format – either email comments or make them at the bottom of this page.
I hope I do not end up feeling like this at the end of this process: