Jump directly to the Content

The Art of the Start


Ministry is an art that emerges from a mysterious alchemy of history, personality, timing and, above all, God's providence—large portions of God's providence.
—Douglas Rumford

During these first six to twelve months, the concrete is still "wet," an elder advised his pastor following the second church board meeting. "This is your chance to make your impression. Soon it will set and be too hard." It sounds like good advice. The new pastor may have an opportunity in the early months to make major changes never again possible.

Yet other wise counselors say, "Don't change anything the first year. Build credibility." Which advice does the newly arrived pastor follow?

As a new pastor I wondered, searching for answers. I decided to contact other pastors who had experienced the awkwardness and opportunities of that inaugural year.

The hare and the tortoise


The first thing I learned is that no one pattern fits every pastor and congregation. Consider these two examples.

Roger Thompson went to Trinity Baptist ...

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.

Tags:
Posted:
December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
Let’s dispense with our worries that Christmas as we know it isn’t Christian.
Editor's Pick
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The widow’s mite story is about more than her sacrificial giving.
close