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My Rookie Season

What I learned in my first year as a pastor.

It doesn't take long to get an education in ministry. In fact, here are six things I learned in my first year as a solo pastor.

1. Don't ignore people's expectations. In the leadership classes I've taken, the emphasis was on vision and values, clarifying them and creating a plan to realize them. My focus, starting out, was much more on what needed to happen than on the needs and expectations of the people in the church. After all, the church isn't a place where people are concerned with what they're getting; we're about what they're giving, right?

Well, in my first year as a solo pastor in a small church, I learned that people had things they believed they needed and expectations of what the pastor was supposed to provide. In my first year I responded to this in three ways.

In some cases I decided to do the things they were expecting. Many of these things were not biblical mandates, but they also weren't a big deal, and they made people feel loved. For ...

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