Over the two decades I've served as a pastor, I have seen that not every pastor's stated motive is their true motive. There are often hidden, selfish desires that obscure a clear focus on the kingdom. We all have the tendency to compare ourselves with others, and who better to measure ourselves against than the one who came before us at our church, or the one who whose ministry will follow ours?

I was fortunate in my early pastorates to have humble, Godly ministers serve before me. When I began my work at these churches, they pledged personal support for my leadership of the church they had led. Time proved that they meant it—each of them made periodic phone calls simply to encourage me and ask how things were going. They became men I could confide in and whose advice nearly always proved to be sound. I was never given any reason to question their motives. I never sensed any hidden agendas, but only pure concern for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and for me personally. In my ...

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