I was privileged to pastor for 17 years and remain a pastor of sorts in the same community. I consider shepherding a local community of saints one of the greatest joys of my life, albeit one of the most difficult. Because it demands so much of one’s self I have told numerous minister wannabe’s to pursue it only if they cannot have passion for – or picture themselves doing – anything else.
Still, I could not invent a better “profession”! It is like air that I breathe, food that I consume, a crown that I wear (1 Thess 2:19)…and for all the best of reasons. I like the emphasis that Artie Davis places on this magnificent calling in the context of encouraging a son with ministry aspirations…
If my son were starting a church this weekend…
…and he came to me and asked, “Dad, what are the most important things I need to know?” I would think, “Man, this is my BOY! He has got to get this right.” I would pray a minute, ask him to take out his Ipad, and then say…
1-What you’re doing is all about loving people. Forget that, and you’re doomed
2-Make your wife priority! Never let her feel she’s in the back seat behind ministry
3-Raise your kids in freedom! Don’t let your position make you feel they have to be superstars
4-Learn to hear God’s voice. Know what His whisper sounds like… There is NO other way
5-It would be better to promote someone a year late, than a day early
6-Invest in those on your team. Let them see the good, bad and ugly
7-Never get in a rut! If you change 1-Degree at a time, you will maximize effectiveness
8-Preach from the overflow of what God is telling you
9-Don’t serve bread dough on Sunday morning, serve hot bread
10-Find a group of other leaders, form relationships… They will save your life!
11-Never seek to please people. That is a merry go round that never stops
12-You serve a Supernatural God, look for His movement, if you don’t look, you wont see
13-Hear God, follow Him, and leave the results to Him. “And the Lord added.”
14-Never forget to have fun! Serving God is hard, but you have to fun too!
15-Don’t ever try to be someone else. God put you there to be you…He likes you just as you are!
16-Strive to be a giver and not a taker! Always sow into others, rather than being the “Asker”
-Pastor Artie Davis, Cornerstone Comm Ch, Orangeburg, SC
Let me close out this post by including this quote from our friend, John Wesley. I think he hits the nail on the head when he advises the candidate (and seasoned vets) never to be after a ministry but, well, let’s go straight to the source:
“Don’t seek for a ministry, but seek for the fruit of a disciplined life.”