McKinley's Laws Of Ministry

The first synod convention I attended after ordination was held in the ballroom of a magnificent hotel. At one point in the gathering, the presiding officer recognized pastors celebrating their twenty-fifth, thirtieth, fortieth, and fiftieth anniversaries of ordination.

As they doddered to the front, I marveled: I had been alive for twenty-five years; these guys (and they were all guys) had lasted for twenty-five years as pastors. Some of them twice that!

I have reason for remembering that moment. If my synod chooses to do that same thing this year, I will be one of those doddering pastors. I've been a parish pastor for twenty-five years. Scary thought.

As a wizened sage, let me offer nine lessons parish ministry has taught me that I never learned in seminary. Call them McKinley's Laws.

Law 1:
The person who sticks his or her head into your office and says, "Do you have a minute?" really wants at least an hour.

Law 2: Congregation council meetings will take longer and accomplish ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Homepage Subscription Panel
Read These Next
close