Rambling Advice From A Rustic,Retired Pastor.

I want to share some important things I have learned as a pastor for 40 years.They are not listed in any particular order.Some are more important than others.Many of them are just matters of common(horse sense).In my journey of 40 years as a pastor,I have learned more from preachers who have honestly told of the mistakes they have made in the ministry than I ‘ve learned from the great and often embellished success stories that they have shared with us.

1.You cannot and should not attempt to control anybody in the church.The pastor who is a control freak,is insecure and unstable.Make sure that you are under the control of the Holy Spirit.I assure you that will be a full time job.

2.Be willing to say at times when you are asked a question,“I don’t know.”

3.Your job is to fill the pulpit.It is not your job to fill the pews.

4.Lead the flock.Don’t push the flock.Read this one ten times a day.

5.You are not indispensable.If you are sick on sunday morning..stay home.Let the chairman of deacons pray his same prayer of 30 years…Lord,lead,guide and direct us..take the offering and dismiss the service.

6.Don’t even attempt to please everybody.If you do ,you are on a performance trip and trap.We are to please our Lord who has called us into the ministry.On the other hand,do not try to dis-please everybody.There is no virtue in being obstinate.

7.Preaching should be personal..but not individualistic.Heed this advice or you will be sorry one day.

8.Start on time and quit on time.(nuff said).

9.In times of crisis or  conflict…P-A-U-S-E before you respond.

10.It is perfectly alright to be dogmatic on certain issues,but try not to be bull dogmatic.

11.Avoid wealth,women and the abuse of wine in the ministry.

12.Don’t call down teen-agers for talking while you are preaching.Just stop in mid-sentence and stare at them until they stop.It will work every time.

13.A little sweat will save you a lot of tears.So go ahead and visit the hospital and shut ins.They will forget what you preached on sunday,but they will remember your visit.


15.If possible…use part time staff.What can a full time music person do all week?

16.It will do you good to say when neccessary,“I AM SORRY.”

17.If there is a need…Teach a sunday school class.If you don’t teach..then attend a SS class.You will be surprised at what is taught in some classes.If you have to use the SS hour to get ready for the worship at 11 you are in real trouble.

18.Don’t compare your ministry with the big church down the road.Be faithful where God has placed you.

19.Heed the advice that an old African American woman gave to a young man called into the ministry,“Be who you is,cause if you is who you ain’t,you ain’t who you is.”

20.Feel free to add or disagree with anything that I have said about 1-19.I would like to hear from you…I’m still a learner.

Explore posts in the same categories: Church seeking Pastor, Deacons..who and what?, Definitions, First mega church, Retirement, Sermons, Stories-illustrations, Summer sermons, Young pastors in the SBC

6 Comments on “Rambling Advice From A Rustic,Retired Pastor.”

  1. […] I found the following statement about stress: Many would find it difficult to define stress Rambling Advice From A Rustic,Retired Pastor. – hottubreligion.wordpress.com 04/29/2009 I want to share some important things I have learned as a […]

  2. Robert Says:

    I resent your comment “What can a full time music person do all week.” I of course am a full time Associate Pastor of Music, and I have an extremely full week. I would love to have you sit with me for a whole week an actually see how much I have to do. I also have “pastoral” duties such as counseling, committee oversite, custodial supervision, visitation, etc. etc. What I do helps the Senior Pastor do his job more efectively.

    This may reflect your experience but it is an uninformed comment and does not reflect a total reality of people involved in music ministry.

  3. pastorinthewoods Says:


    Thanks for the wisdom.

  4. Robert,
    From what you have written,you are a full time counselor,committee oversight person,custodial supervisor,visitation person as well as a full time Associate Pastor of music.You are gifted and a multi-talented staff member.My comment had to do with a full time music person who only has music duties.I sincerely commend you and apologize for offending you.

    • Robert Says:

      Apology accepted. It has been my experience that most music guys, or gals, with the title of Pastor have other duties than just music. Other than youth pastors, the music pastor has the most reponsibility outside of Sunday morning than any other staff member. I have no less than 4 rehearsals each week in order to prepare for Sunday. So I would answer the question, What can a music person do all week by saying, “provide a top notch worship service”

  5. pastorinthewoods Says:


    You are right! Full time music ministers can provide needed teaching and quality to music programs. Hottubs comment is applicable in my opinion to small and medium size churches who cannot pay a full time staff member in an appropriate manner, neither can they find someone easily to be a multi-tasker for what they are capable of paying. To that end someone will be hurt. Either the church will be over stretched or the minister will be over worked or highly criticized. That experience was what I took him to mean. I commend your calling and your gifts.

    God Bless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: