Advice to New Pastors

The following outline is from a great podcast by Michael Hyatt on “Advice to New CEOs.”. It strikes me that these principles are so important for new pastors, and all pastors as well. The self image can get wrapped up in the position and status of being the point leader, so that it makes it very difficult to pass the baton of leadership to another pastor, or to serve on a staff team under a lead pastor.

Your position is a role; it’s not your identity

If you’re looking for a position to complete you or to give you identity or more importantly to give you significance you’re probably not going to be a very good pastor. You need to find your security in who you are in Christ, not in what you do as a pastor.

Your position is temporary, not permanent.

The average tenure of a CEO is five to six years. It is a stressful job!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker stays in each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years.
91 percent of millennials born between 1977 and 1997 (that’s the definition of a millennial) expect to stay in a job for less than three years.
Many will have eight to fifteen jobs over the course of a career.
So one day you will either be fired, you will resign, or move up or over, but something is going to change.
You are a steward of your time and talents, your time is limited and you need to feel the urgency and make the most of the opportunity that you have in front of you today. Hunker down and work hard and your reputation for diligence and hard work will be your ticket for your next job.
Unfortunately, the tenure of lead pastors in many churches is just as short as those in business.

Your position is a privilege, not a right.

You are not entitled. You might have talent and ability, but probably you benefited from timing, being in the right place at the right time. So work hard and finish your task, there are no guarantees.

William E. Yaeger, “There are no guarantees in warfare.”

The little book, “Who Moved the Cheese” by Spencer Johnson is a powerful reminder that we need to keep moving, there is enough cheese out there for those who are willing to track it down.

My ultimate accountability is to God.

Dallas Willard had it right when he said that “you have to let go of the outcomes.” If you want to write, you should write, whether or not anyone wants to read what you write. If you want to play the guitar then play the guitar. There are all kinds of under-employed, tremendously talented musicians in the world, so it might never be proficient enough to make a living as a musician, but play for the joy of playing music.

Your position is about faithfulness, not achievement.

There are many factors that you cannot control, the economy, the boss, the team…, the competition, demographics.
People don’t always cooperate. Jesus spent 3 1/2 years with the Twelve and they all failed Him under pressure. Yet Jesus finished the work that our Heavenly Father gave him to do, and that is what mattered most.

Your position is about them, not you.

This is servant leadership. You are not the central actor in this drama. The most important thing is the message, the messenger is just a delivery system. Jesus declared, “the greatest among you will be the servant of all.”

  • As a leader, you might have prominence, but the people on the front lines have significance.
  • You are simply a guide, not the hero.

The heroes are those who are on the front lines of the battle every week, in the trenches, in authentic ministry in the community, in the workplace…

Rick Warren, “It is not about you.”

Your position is about stewardship and not ownership.

Being a steward is different from being an owner. God owns it all, but I will give an account for what I do with what He gives me. To whom much is given much is required. It is not important that people know your name, it is important that they know God’s name.

Posted by sblubeck