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"I'm the Leader, Now What?"

Pastors who lead effectively must be willing to risk the ship repeatedly for the sake of the gospel.
—Leith Anderson

It was May of 1969. I had just crammed three years of seminary into two and couldn't wait to reap the rewards of surviving my education: full-time ministry. The church I had been serving part time asked me to become their associate pastor. My wife, Charleen, and I were ecstatic.

By the end of that summer, the senior pastor had resigned, and I was named his successor. At age twenty-four, I was handed the reins of a local church.

Most of my training prepared me for the one hour on Sunday morning. The first few months, I studied and planned until lunch. After lunch I headed for home. With my parishioners working during the day, I had nobody to visit, so at first I took afternoon naps or caught up on the soap operas! I returned to work in the evenings, visiting or attending church meetings.

A lot has changed since then—I now work afternoons. But regularly I'm faced with the same ...

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