Remember: you are dependent on the lord. Enjoy the process of pastoral work. Not every day will be rosy. Unexpected demands and challenges will keep you dependent on Christ. Learn that the Lord faithfully abides with you as you, in weakness and sometimes fear, shepherd the flock of God.
Throughout the year, young men (and sometimes older men) anxiously waiting for their first pastoral charge receive the call, pack up their belongings, and move their family to a new community. I remember that first pastorate, too. Having begun serving a small church in rural southwest Mississippi during my last year of seminary, on graduation day, a couple of the members helped load our furniture and kitchen wares onto a cattle trailer and moved us to the church pastorium (yes, I wrote pastorium; a house owned by the church for the pastor). I didn’t know what I was getting into.
Pastor - Year - Groundwork - Lifetime - Ministry
Every pastor has to experience the first year of pastoring to start laying groundwork for a lifetime of ministry. So what should a new pastor focus on during that year?
A young pastor wrote me about the first year of ministry. I grinned widely as I read about the “firsts” that he was experiencing, and thought of my own first year. In a typical Baptist church, the first year includes experiences of first baptism, first revival meeting (the inaccurate vernacular for a protracted series of services), first wedding, first funeral, first deacons’ meeting, first business meeting (uh-oh), and first conflict. Nothing in seminary can quite get the young pastor completely ready for that series of “firsts.”
Handy - Copy - Dear - Timothy - Letters
So keep handy a copy of Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry(ed. Thomas K. Ascol). Read it and re-read it. Work through C. H. Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students. Refer often to Brian Croft’s Practical Shepherding series that deals...
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