Single Biggest Mistake

I think the single biggest mistake that a young pastor can make is to make his aim to be a professional. One cannot approach the pastorate as any other profession. I'll back up my assertion with the text: ". . . we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms."

I think some bright young pastors who had options to become doctors or lawyers or engineers feel the need to give a sense of "respectability" to the office of pastor. Pastors already fall way behind their colleagues with similar training/educational experience in terms of salary. I think it's a self-esteem issue. But being professional can kill you dead in the water of your ministry.

This thing is spiritual! Now, I'm not suggesting that preachers should not attempt to schedule and keep appointments, that they need not return phone calls in a timely manner or what have you. God forbid! We should! But our view of what we do should not be first that we are professionals able to "manage" what we do solely with appointment books and planning calendars. The devil would love for us to believe that. But Paul makes it emphatically clear that we are not fighting against people. The work in which we are engaged happens at an unseen level. The people we are trying to reach for Christ will not experience the all important work of conversion unless it happens at the spirit level. If that's the case, we can only work with God. And my plans must always be subject to His modifications and revisions.

I'd like to grab some young preacher by the collar and tell him, forget about the office hours if you don't have your prayer life together. As the Kneeling Christian said, "You can do more than pray after you have prayed. But you can do nothing until you have prayed." Don't try to be professional or political, be spiritual.


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