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In seminary we learned many noble ideals about our life's work. Occasionally, however, these goals and well-intentioned pieces of advice need a bit of, er, refinement when we reach the parish. Here are a few young-pastor's visions (and how they often get translated later on).

Never take a church unless it extends you a unanimous call. (Never take a church unless it extends you a call.)

Never take a church unless you're willing to stay there the rest of your life. (Don't bail out unless you've stuck it out for at least three years.)

Only you are being hired, not your spouse, so the congregation has no right to place expectations on your spouse. (Make sure your spouse attends all interviews and never misses worship or church school.)

Your salary is unimportant; your compensation is to serve the Lord. (Your salary is public knowledge; your compensation is discussed at annual meetings.)

Immerse your ministry in prayer. (Immerse your ministry in prayer and administration.) ...

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From Issue:Fall 1991: Outreach
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