Strategically Unstrategic Care

The greatest baggage a pastor carries to a new ministry assignment is ready-made programs.
—Richard C. Halverson

After my first pastorate, 1944-1947, in Coalinga, California, I never intended to pastor again; I didn't think I was good enough material. So I worked with small groups as an associate minister for eight years and then joined International Christian Leadership for three years. After the Lord led me to Fourth Presbyterian Church, I realized I didn't have a ready-made ministry program. In fact, I was so out of touch I didn't even know what programs other churches were using or what programs were available.

Now, after twenty-one years at Fourth, I look back on that "problem" as one of the greatest assets I took to the church.

The greatest baggage a pastor carries to a new ministry assignment is ready-made programs. He is programmed to think he should try out this program as soon as he's finished trying out that program. He's buried in an avalanche of "how-to's." He continually compares ...

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