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Pastors, as player-coaches, must both give instructions and follow them at the same time.

Some of the things the apostle Paul said scare me. For instance: "I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

That makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up-spiritually speaking, that is.

It is an occupational hazard of the ministry, is it not, to have spent our time and energy trying to get others to love, obey, and worship Jesus Christ, only to discover in the end that we ourselves have not. We have been so occupied with coaching other runners that we ourselves have never actually run the race!

Pastors have an extraordinarily difficult job, one filled with great spiritual peril. We are player-coaches. We must both tell others how to be Christians and be Christians ourselves. We must both preach what we practice and practice what we preach. The difficulty is that there is often a tension between these two. The great ...

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