I remeber my first comments on the BPN was under Min. Lockett discussion regarding "My First Sermon." At that time I was like him "An associate minister, faithful, patience, prayerful, hard working, and preparing for the day when God's will would allow me to pastor a church. You hear the discussion all the time, "When I am a Pastor, I will do this and that. We dont covete the position but we see ourselves preparing for the opportunity. Well, my season is here. After prayer/fasting/listening I recently accepted the Letter from a church to Psator. Words can't describe how I have been feeling. I'm careful to request to stay in God's mercy, remain humble, listen twice before speaking once, trying not to fix things that are not broken, (that is another discussion) learning names, praying frequently, and teaching/preaching. Every Pastor who I know has called, emailed, & texted congrats but I'm looking for advice from some of the experience members of BPN to begin a discussion of advice to new Pastors. I would rather learn from others mistakes than make them. School can prepare you but on day one, life experinces re-train you. by the way, all those ideas you had racing through your mind before you became a Pastor seem to exit on day one. I would like to hear your advice to New Pastors. I have always been one to recieve advice and learn from it.
Here is one of the biggest mistake a young pastor can make it, to solely believed that it only takes a strong prayer life and a call. The organizational part will play a huge role in your life and the success of your ministry not just a strong word. I have seen many young pastors who are anointed by God, have a genuine call, and have the gift to preach and teach but their organization was poorly put together and therefore their ability to reach people was limited. Here is what I tell all pastors young and old. Hire a lawyer and a CPA before you even start. If possible never touch money, have someone who is compentent to handle your books.
Then find a mentor or father in the Lord who will be a personal covering not just in name or denomination but someone who believes in you and is not afraid to share the TRUTH. Some you respect so that you can APPLY that truth. Believe me these will save you years of frustration.
Great points. Our church is set-up so that two people always count the money, They both must sign the report. The money is put into a bank bag, locked and then deposited. The bag and the key to the bag never travel together. I get a weekly report of what comes in. Our checking account is set up so that it requires two signature to write a cashable check. My signature is always on those checks so I know what's going out. The treasure is not allowed to sign checks only to keep track of the finances. Once a month a detail report is given to me and our Board of Elders from the treasurer.
I disagree about "old school" preacher. The ones I know control everything especially the finances and they never share with their members or their elders about the financial state of the church unless they need more money. We have a yearly meeting with the congregation to let them know where their tithes and offering are spent.
We have had at least a 25% increase in giving for the last 7 years straight. We take ONE offering a week, not 3 in one service or 5 a week, one offering per week. Last year we bought a 2.5 million dollar building taking up one offering a week.
A computer and accounting software should be the absolute minimum investment, it should not be a question of affordability but of wisdom. In the beginning of our ministry we sent one of our members to a Quickbook Class so that she could learn how to accurately do our books. We paid for her time off from her secular job as well as for the classes.
The bible tells us to count the cost and that especially applies to the area of church ministry. A church will never grow past a certain point if these are not a high priority and implemented into ministry.
We just renovated our church that we purchased last year. It was built in 1886 and the total square footage is about 15,000 sq. feet. We did have some volunteers but they were professionals in their chosen fields. We spent over $200,000.00 with the renovations and it was all professionally done. I absolutely refused to go the cheap way because in the long run you end up paying for the same thing 2 or 3 times.
We are in the midst of building a brand new website. Every church should have a website. There are several companies that will give churches one for free. The company we use gives churches free site however it is limited but it will give you some exposure. Check out this link:
Thanks for all the advice. I'm into my sixth month as Pastor and wow has it been a great experience. We have grown both Spirituality and numerically. It is if the honeymoon is into overtime. We are looking forward to our new 28,000 sf Community Center, which was paid entirely through Grants. As Construction is begining o this project, we were approached in regards to managing a Senior Assistance Living Center. Each project has been meet with eagerness and energy. Technology has been embraced with the addition of our Website and our weekly Podcast.
Every Church with video capabilities should consider broadcasting on Public Access channels through your local cable provider. We began May with a 30 min broadcast and ther response has been positive. It is very affordable and a way to outreach without a large investment.
Vision 2009 is captured in every possible way as we are moving to the next level of ministry. God is proving himself evreyday as lives are being changed and souls are being added to the kingdom.
Please don't stop: Commenting, advising, praying, encouraging,and supporting us as God continues to bless us beyond our expectations.
Start and as much as possible end on time. I remember the days I would "wait for more people to come before we start" that was a mistake. The people who wan to be in devotion/ praise will be there. The most important thing I learn was I was unintentionally telling the one who came on time, your time isn't important to me.. Thanks God for wisdom
i've only been pastoring for about 8-9 months so ifeel your righteous reservations. there is no monolithic answer, because the pastorate as a ministry is not a monolithic experience. the best advice i could lend would be this: get to know the congregation. love the hell out of them especially the hard to love ones, teach the hell out of them, and sho' nuff you gotta preach the hell out of them.
Bro Harris, it is good to hear from you and congrats as well. As I recieve advice from various sources I realize that these experiences should capture in a format which can be distributed to many. Some of the advice is priceless. Although the fact remains the same as no two churches are alike but people are consistant. I preserving my thoughts, experiences, triumphs, and trials to help others who will soon walk this same path. Please continue to provide advice as iron sharpens iron
I would simply say be yourself. I don't know all the particulars of your situation but let them know what you can do and what you can't do and stand firm. If you don't, they will wear you out by running you ragged. Let God lead you and not the people and get rid of your trustee board if they think they are more important than you. They're only two ordained offices in the bible and trustee ain't one. God Bless.
My dear brother, it seems that you are on the right track already; keep doing what you do and remain humble, remembering that you have been placed and planted to serve not to be served. Also, remember it "ain't" about you, it's about Whom you represent; you are an ambassador of the Most High therefore carry yourself in such a manner.
People will try to rush you into making long range plans; DON'T! For the first two years you should just get to know the people whom you serve; not just by recognition, learn their habits, their likes and dislikes, where they prefer to sit, their style of dress, their faithfulnees and commitment to the church.
Pastoring is not something that we choose to do; God appoints, annoints, commissions and prepares us for the task of service. Yes, I am aware of Paul's statement concerning desiring the office of a bishop, but God stated that before we were born He had this plan for those He chose.
There will be some hills to climb, some valleys to look up from, some peaks to look down from, some deserts to thirst in, some wildernesses to wander in, some serpents to be dealt with, some ravens that will feed you, some busy bodies that will slander you, some deacons who will challenge you, some choir member who will defy you, some church folks who will throw stumblimg blocks before you, but after all this and even during, there will be a few that will show you love and support. But, most importantly, God will be there for you through it all. After you have done all that He has commanded of you, "STAND" on His promises; don't hang in there, STAND!
The ones that give you the hardest time, put them on various committees and the one that has the idea that pastors steal or misuse the Lord's money, put him or her on the finance ministry. Finally, do away with all boards, change them to "MINISTRIES"! Boards direct and give orders; Ministries serve, support and assist.
For those who choose now to agree with my methodology, no problem! My madness works. Where I have served and serve the evidence speaks for itself. When over 95% of the membership tithes, over 77% attends Sunday School and over 80% attend Bible Study God has to be in the mix and a servant's heart must be in place.
God didn't place us as pastors to rule His people, nor does he need or desire that of us, we are to be Shepherds not sheep herders; servants not task masters. Continue to allow God to teach you His way to serve and shepherd His flock not Rev. Dr. Been There Done That.