For 13 years now I've observed pastors from the other side of the pulpit. I've watched them chair meetings, preach sermons, wrestle with finance committee spreadsheets, encourage volunteers, and so on. It's not always been pretty, but it's given me plenty to think about. You see, I was a pastor for ten years, and I keep seeing myself in them.
I cringe a lot.
I've served my local church in a variety of capacities since becoming a layman—everything from teaching classes, to serving on the executive committee, to shoveling snow from the walks. In such capacities, ironically, I've learned a lot about pastoring. It's clearer than ever that as a pastor I ministered by a handful of assumptions that did not serve my churches well. If I again experience the call to ministry, I'm going to put the following five items on my office wall and read them daily.
Administration IS ministry
During the years when the ink was drying on my seminary diploma, I fancied myself a preacher, teacher, and curate of souls. ...1
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