10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me 15 Years Ago

This is what I taught today to our New Life staff. It is a list of things I wish I had known when I started on this journey as pastor. This would have saved me a lot of pain, for sure. Read my list and then add some of your own.

1. Sheep bites can’t kill me, but the gnawing will make life miserable a few days each year.

2. No matter how hard I try, I will always be tempted to measure my success by attendance numbers.

3. The best thing I can do to build and grow God’s kingdom is to be myself and not compare myself to others.

4. It takes a long time to become old friends so nurture and cherish the old friendships God has given me.

5. I will only have as much spiritual authority as I am willing to submit to myself. Independence will destroy me but there is power in submission.

6. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Challenge people to go deeper even when the message is unpopular.

7. My brain will always feel like scrambled eggs on Sunday afternoon so don’t make any major decisions until Tuesday morning.

8. Some people will only trust you after a really long time of proving yourself and another group will never trust you no matter what you do.

9. Don’t feel guilty about taking a Sabbath. It was not a suggestion.

10. I will never regret spending time with my family instead of saying yes to a church meeting that someone else could lead.

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  1. When measuring success — don’t forget to count those who are listening on line.

  2. Peter A. Akerele

    March 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Many church leaders do sacrifice the happiness of spending quality time with their family members instead of delegating the role to their subordinates. Is it as a result of insecurity or what?

  3. Prescott Jay Erwin

    July 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Saw this posted @ ChurchLeaders.com. Good stuff, but I’m wondering about this: “5. I will only have as much spiritual authority as I am willing to submit to myself.” What does that mean, “to submit to myself”? Am I reading that wrong, “to myself”?

  4. #5 means that for a person to have spiritual authority, they have to be fully submitted to Christ’s spiritual authority. The more submitted, in every area of your life, to God’s will, the more He can use you to advance the Kingdom. #5 is the key to it all in my opinion! Doing it on your own strenght and ability, independent of the Holy Spirit’s constant presence, and a team of surrender soldiers around you, is a recipe for failure; for you and the people you attempt to lead. GREAT ARTICLE!

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