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
- Employee sacked in Australia for voting No to same-sex marriage
- Chinese Banks to Stop Doing Business with North Korea: Trump
- Church apologizes for hosting satanic fashion show
- How Joel Osteen is Serving Houston’s Jewish Community May Surprise You
- Aussie Teen Who Transitioned to Female Changes His Mind 2 Years Later
UN votes to create team to collect evidence of IS’s crimes
Campaigners for Christian and Yazidi victims of the Islamic State (IS) group welcomed a vote at the United Nations yesterday (21 September), hailed...
What you can learn from Elon Musk’s communication skills
Recently, an email went public that entrepreneur Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees. Although it was originally sent a few years ago, it reveals a lot...
The Seven Deadly Statements of Church Members
Words have meaning. And if church members start articulating words consistently, those words begin to reflect the priorities and passions of the...
The 7 things moms do before they even start their day
I have just arrived to my place of employment. Everyone’s all “good morning,” and I’m just doing my best to blend in. Literally I noticed...