The Seven Habits of Long-Standing Pastors
They have been at their present church at least ten years, often much longer.
They have persevered. They have served multiple generations of the same families.
They have known the highs and lows of ministry. And they have not succumbed to the siren call of greener grass churches.
I have been following these long-tenured pastors for years. And I have seen consistently seven patterns, or habits, in their lives. To be sure, these habits are not unique to long-tenured pastors. But they do seem to be most consistent among those pastors who have been at one church for at least ten years.
1. They don’t skip a day in prayer and the ministry of the Word. They are truly Acts 6:4 pastors. They refuse to succumb to they tyranny of the urgent. They put prayer and Bible reading as a priority on their calendars, usually early in the morning. They are able to carry on because they are refueled every day.
2. They realize gnats are gnats. So they are able to look beyond the momentary critics and nuisances.
3. They pray for wisdom. I have been both amazed and encouraged to discover how many longer-tenured pastors include the prayer of James 1:5 in their prayer lives.
4. They dream big. These pastors are not satisfied with the status quo. They truly believe they serve a God who has bigger plans than we can possibly imagine in our own strength.
5. They intentionally seek to see the green grass in their own churches. That helps them not to fall for the trap that the green grass is always at the next church.
6. They keep an outward focus. Pastors in a maintenance mode are either miserable pastors or pastors on their way out. Long-tenured pastors really take Paul’s admonition to Timothy seriously. They do the work of the evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5).
7. They take care of their families. They know their families are their first lines of ministry. In fact, they grasp clearly that they cannot lead their churches for the long haul unless they take care of their families (1 Timothy 3:5).
The longer-term pastor is a step in the right direction for greater health and more fruitful ministry.
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on April 5. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer
- ‘Alarming rise’ in attacks against Christians in India
- Weary Copts urge Pope Francis to challenge Sisi over attacks, chronic discrimination
- Seminary professors’ rapper photo roils social media
- China Revival as ‘Hundreds of Millions Turn to Religion and Faith’
- 1.5 million boycott Target for its trans bathroom policy
Orthopedic Surgeons Offer Ecuadorians a Chance to Walk
Converging on Quito, Ecuador, for two weeks, orthopedic surgeons recently traveled from four countries with the aim of correcting that which is mal...
‘Happy Days’ Erin Moran met Christ in her last days
Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcom “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died...
Pope: Power without humility -will ruin you, you will ruin others’
Pope Francis warned world leaders on Tuesday that power without humility “will ruin you, and you will ruin others” in a recorded TED Talk...
Queen appoints Scottish minister as personal chaplain
Her Majesty the Queen has chosen a distinguished Church of Scotland minister as one of her new personal chaplains. Rev George Cowie of South...