Jump directly to the Content

How I Prepare Myself


A pastor, of course, must do many things to prepare to lead people weekly in worship. But before I attend to technical matters, I've learned to attend to spiritual concerns.
—Jack Hayford

I was twenty-two when I took my first pastorate, a small congregation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At best we averaged 47 people in worship.

We had one rough stretch. As some members moved and others went away for the summer, our average attendance over a five-month stretch dropped steadily, from 47, to 44, to 33, to 22, and finally, by the middle of August, to 11.

One Sunday morning only 8 people showed up. When my family came back for the evening service, nobody showed. No one.

I sat discouraged in the front row next to Anna, my wife, and our baby, who was lying in a bassinet.

I had already felt defeated after the morning service, but now I felt simply awful. What in the world am I doing here? I thought. If we had had enough money, I would have packed my family in the car and left town. But we didn't.

Sitting ...

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
Joseph’s Simplicity Was Actually Spiritual Maturity
Joseph’s Simplicity Was Actually Spiritual Maturity
God entrusted his only Son to a man who could not provide as his culture expected.
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