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I'm the Leader--Now What?

The pastor, as a visionary, is like an architect who intimately knows each room in the building he or she is designing long before it's actually constructed.
— 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. Charleen and I were ecstatic.

By the end of that summer, the senior pastor had resigned, and I was named his successor. At age 24, 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 afternoon soap operas! I returned to work in the evenings, visiting or attending church meetings.

A lot has changed since then — I now work ...

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