Ways a young minister can gain acceptance and credebility in the established congregation.

I lied to the pulpit committee. Well, it wasn't an outright lie-it was perfected hyperbole.

"When you look at it, I have twenty-five years of pastoral experience," I said. "My father pastored all of my life. I lived with my father. That should count for something!"

As I candidated for my first senior pastorate, I felt compelled to compensate for my then twenty-six years. Whether or not this convinced them, they called me.

It was not to be an easy church, though. They had been without a pastor nearly two years. The leadership of the church was worn, the members restless. And I was young.

I had graduated two years earlier from a seminary with a progressive, nontraditional approach to ministry. The school was not a training ground for pastors, per se, but more of a launching pad for ministry beyond the walls of the local church-the world was to be our parish.

Excited by this concept, I still didn't want to make the mistake many seminarians make in their first parish: deciding to correct the church's ...

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