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.