Knowing when to stay

When I came to the end of my seminary education, several people encouraged me to take on the role of senior pastor at one of several churches recruiting at the seminary. But two things held me back. First, I didn't want to approach ministry like one who climbs a corporate ladder. The conventional thinking was to leap for the highest rung possible on your first post after seminary and then start climbing from there. Second, I knew in my heart I wasn't ready. I needed to learn the mechanics of church ministry. So, after graduation, I remained in Dallas and joined Grace Bible Church's full-time staff as Dr. Dwight Pentecost's assistant pastor.

About a year or so after working with Dr. Pentecost full-time, I began to feel more confident about leading a church, so I entertained the possibility of going elsewhere. A church in Fort Worth asked me to consider being a pastor there. My wife, Cynthia, and I visited the church and met with the elders. I preached the morning and ...

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